Gov. Edwards issued the following statement about reports that a small percentage of Medicaid recipients had incomes over $100,000 on their 2017 taxes.

“Data like this is why the Medicaid eligibility system the Louisiana Department of Health implemented at the end last year is so critical. It checks for an individual’s wages and eligibility much more frequently and future enhancements set to go live in May will make better use of federal tax data when a person applies for Medicaid. Of the people being referenced, the vast majority, 74 percent, have been removed from the Medicaid rolls. Around 14 percent remain eligible, as their life circumstances have changed since their 2017 tax returns were filed. The remainder may still be eligible, as their cases are still under review.

Let’s be clear, if there is a criminal conviction of fraud related to Medicaid, we will aggressively pursue getting back the money. We take fraud, waste and abuse very seriously, which is why my administration prioritized this new eligibility system early on. Only those who are eligible for Medicaid should receive benefits. No administration has done more to bring people improved access to health care than my administration nor taken more steps to prevent fraud, waste and abuse through the system that LDH implemented under my watch.”