Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the United States Senate health care bill released today:

“We can all agree that the Affordable Care Act needs improvements in a number of areas.  However, an initial review of this legislation raises several red flags for the state of Louisiana.  Most notably, it dismantles Medicaid and will leave the 428,000 working poor in Louisiana who are covered under expansion with nowhere to turn for coverage.

"It’s hard to imagine the United States Senate voting on a piece of legislation of such significance without properly vetting the potential outcomes and receiving public input.  Not a single hearing is scheduled on this bill before the Senate votes.  I’ve joined Republican and Democratic governors from across the nation in asking the Senate leadership for a more open, inclusive and bipartisan approach to health care reform.  

"The working poor, disabled and elderly appear to shoulder the burden in this latest version of Congress’ health care rewrite. This is a step backwards for cost, coverage and care.  In many ways, this bill specifically disadvantages Louisiana and other similarly situated states where we are saving lives and improving health outcomes.”

In Fiscal Year 2017, Louisiana has saved an estimated $200 million from expanding Medicaid.  In the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2017, the state is expected to save more than $300 million.  Without these savings, K-12 education, higher education and health care would be forced to shoulder deep cuts in the state budget. 

Last week, Gov. Edwards joined Governors John R. Kasich (R-Ohio), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), Charles Baker (R-Mass.), Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) and Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) urging the U.S. Senate to consider a bipartisan approach to health care reform. To view the letter, click here