Senators seek plan to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program
BATON ROUGE- State senators are asking Louisiana's health department to draw up a Medicaid expansion proposal within weeks, as they ready for a new governor who wants to tap into that provision of the federal health care law.
Lawmakers have repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion plans, siding with Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, an expansion opponent. But legislators are showing more openness to the idea as John Bel Edwards, a Democrat and expansion supporter, readies to take over as governor on Jan. 11.
The Senate Finance Committee on Monday asked the health department to devise an expansion plan before Jan. 1.
That, however, won't help cover a $530 million Medicaid deficit that is looming in the current fiscal year. Without a fix, the health department estimates payments to Medicaid providers would stop in May.