Gov. Edwards takes questions on Medicaid, TOPS
BATON ROUGE- Gov. John Bel Edwards discussed TOPS, Medicaid and equal pay for women at a press conference that he held in his office on Thursday afternoon.
He said that his administration will reveal budget cut proposals next week to cope with that state’s $750 million gap.
Earlier, proposals for a bill to charge Medicaid recipients for non-emergency care in emergency rooms were stalled due to opposition by health care providers who say that the bill is equivalent to cuts in their Medicaid payments.
During the conference, Edwards said that he is still working with lawmakers on expanding Medicaid co-pay bills.
Despite the opposition, Gov. Edwards says he wants to promote personal responsibility and steer patients to clinics instead of emergency rooms.
Edwards also spoke on Senate Bill 254, which calls for equal pay for women. According to Edwards, he believes the Senate will pass the bill next Tuesday.
TOPS was also discussed at the conference where Edwards said that the Senate Committee passed a bill to cap TOPS earlier in the day.
He stated that he preferred pro-rated distribution of the cuts so every eligible student could be awarded, however the alternative is that only student who receive a 28 ACT score will be awarded.
Edwards said that he would “love” to fully fund the TOPS program if the Louisiana Legislature passes more revenue in the next Special Session.
Lawmakers agreed in a Special Session to raise $1.2 billion in taxes for next year’s budget, however that was not enough to close the gap.
He went on to say that it is still early to announce the beginning of another Special Session, however he said that it needs to happen as soon as necessary.