Governor Signs Executive Order to Expand Medicaid, Announces July 1 Launch Date

Governor John Bel Edwards (D), who took office on January 11, signed an executive order to expand Medicaid, fulfilling a campaign promise to do so within 24 hours of his inauguration. The Governor also announced his intention to implement the expanded coverage by July 1, 2016, which the State anticipates would make eligible an additional 300,000 Louisianans. The executive order highlights the federal dollars that have been foregone by Louisiana by not having expanded, as well as anticipated General Fund savings that the State expects to realize as a result of expansion. Rebekah Gee, the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, was reported to be optimistic about working through the matters that will require federal approval in time for a July 1 implementation.