Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding work requirements for Medicaid Recipients:
“Upon taking the oath of office, my first order of business was to expand Medicaid in Louisiana and increase access to health care for hundreds of thousands of our citizens,” said Gov. Edwards. “More than 457 thousand Louisianans now have coverage that is providing life-saving health care. Additionally, there have been more than 150 thousand preventive visits resulting in the early diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases like cancer, hypertension, and diabetes, and we’ve accomplished all of this while saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
“I’ve always believed that a healthier workforce is essential for Louisiana’s economic growth. Medicaid Expansion is a huge step to improving the productivity of our workforce. Yet, we must remember that Medicaid expansion is a program that helps the working poor – a lifeline for the more than two-thirds of Louisianans who are already employed but are not earning enough to afford health insurance. Of those who are not working, many are either in school or caring for family members; others are too ill or disabled to work and need the quality health care Medicaid provides to help them re-enter the workforce. For those who are not currently working but are able and eligible to work, we must find reasonable ways to ensure they too benefit from the dignity of being employed.
“I have always supported smart solutions to increase skills and encourage engagement through work, volunteering, or training. For several months now my administration has been working to develop work, volunteer and educational engagement components for our Healthy Louisiana program. With this new guidance from CMS, we will continue developing a Louisiana-specific program for our Medicaid program as we go forward.”