Health department withdraws ethics request on Medicaid plan
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's health department is withdrawing a request for the ethics board to determine if donations helping to pay for the roll-out of Gov. John Bel Edwards' Medicaid expansion comply with state ethics laws.
A private foundation is collecting donations from health providers to help cover the health department's administrative costs associated with the coverage expansion.
The arrangement has been cleared by federal officials.
When Health and Hospitals Secretary Rebekah Gee was asked about the ethics board during a recent House budget debate, she said no request was made.
But a Jan. 25 letter posted on the Board of Ethics website shows the health department asked for an opinion. The request was revoked in a Feb. 1 letter.
Gee said "that was not a formal request because it had been pulled."