Medicaid expansion has been a priority for Governor Edwards since he was in the House of Representatives. On his first full day in office, the governor signed an executive order to expand Medicaid in Louisiana, bringing back our federal tax dollars to provide health care to our working citizens and fulfilling one of the governor’s top campaign promises.
Medicaid expansion will improve the health of our workforce, strengthen our economy, and improve Louisiana’s budget. It will also include a focus on personal responsibility, work, and healthy behaviors. Louisianans can start signing up on June 1, 2016, and health coverage will begin on July 1, 2016.
Medicaid expansion will bring our federal tax dollars back to provide health care for Louisianans. Right now, Louisianans are paying to fund Medicaid Expansion for 31 other states, but Gov. Edwards is committed to bring our tax dollars home. Expansion gives health care options to working adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line ($16,404 for a single adult or $33,540 for a family of four) who are not eligible for Medicaid today. The typical enrollee is a worker, usually in crucial industries like tourism, construction, and retail. These Louisianans work hard but often make low-wages and do not have access to health insurance through their employers.
Medicaid expansion will strengthen Louisiana’s economy. Bringing our federal tax dollars back to Louisiana to provide health care to our workers will ensure a healthier and more productive workforce – a clear benefit to local businesses. More of our citizens will have health insurance, which means our hospitals and other health care providers will be reimbursed for the services they provide. This will protect health access for everybody and create new jobs in communities across the state.
Medicaid Expansion will improve the state’s budget. Expanding Medicaid is projected to save the State of Louisiana more than $180 million in the first year alone and even more over the next decade and beyond. Bringing our federal tax dollars back to provide health care to our citizens will allow Louisiana to cut state spending, helping to reduce our budget shortfall. The savings is also allowing us to address our state’s budget shortfall, by making critical investments in higher education, health care, and the TOPS program. Medicaid expansion is a win-win for health care providers and taxpayers.
Governor Edwards wants to expand health coverage the Louisiana way: