Sen. Kennedy slams Louisiana health secretary after audit
BATON ROUGE (AP) - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is calling on Louisiana's health secretary to resign after an audit said her agency may have spent as much as $85 million on Medicaid coverage for people who weren't eligible.
The Republican senator Wednesday said Rebekah Gee, an appointee of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, didn't show respect for taxpayer dollars.
The legislative auditor's office found problems with the health department's infrequent use of wage data from the state labor department to confirm that people enrolled in Louisiana's Medicaid expansion program meet the income criteria.
Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo dismissed Kennedy's criticism, saying the governor has confidence in Gee. Carbo pointed to technology upgrades in Gee's department aimed at improving Medicaid eligibility verification.
Kennedy is mulling a run for governor against Edwards in next year's election.