NPAF Applauds Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards Move to Expand Medicaid

NPAF Applauds Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards Move to Expand Medicaid
National Patient Advocate Foundation supports newly elected governor’s decision to expand Medicaid and encourages remaining states nationwide to do the same.

Washington, D.C. – Staying true to his campaign promise, Governor John Bel Edwards signed an executive order enacting Medicaid expansion on his second day in office, Tuesday. Expanding Medicaid will allow an additional 500,000 Louisiana residents to be eligible for state healthcare, 300,000 of that group currently uninsured, by offering coverage to those adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.  Governor Edwards has set the target date of full expansion implementation for July 1, 2016.

The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), a national nonprofit organization providing the patient voice to elected officials, commends the move broadening coverage for Louisianans.

“We here at NPAF fully support Governor Edwards decision to expand healthcare coverage for its most vulnerable populations. NPAF, along with other like-minded organizations have been stressing the importance of Medicaid expansion nationwide so all persons can receive the care they need and deserve,” NPAF President Larry Lanier says.

During Governor Edwards signing event, he addressed the crowd stating, “We are consistently ranked one of the poorest and unhealthiest states, and this cycle will not be broken as long as anyone in Louisiana has to choose between their health and their financial security.”

The federal government will foot the full cost of the expansion until September where Louisiana will be expected to contribute a maximum of just 10% until 2020. Former Governor Bobby Jindal repeatedly blocked Medicaid expansion during his term claiming Medicaid would burden taxpayers and provide insufficient care. However, according to Coverage Counts, Louisiana will save over $257 million dollars annually for uncompensated care by increasing coverage. Louisiana is the 31st state to voluntarily expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act.

For Louisiana NPAF volunteer John Thompson, RN, the change is more than welcome. He has worked tirelessly for the people of Louisiana by meeting with Louisiana Legislators, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, hospital administrators, local Parish officials and lastly patients themselves. “I have literally stood on street corners in front of hospitals and at the State Capitol steps with patient protesters trying to make a difference. It is my view empowering the disparate people of our state with Medicaid Expansion will lead to better health and outcomes for the people of Louisiana.” 

“Providing coverage for low socioeconomic populations in Louisiana is the right thing to do. We hope the remaining states who have not expanded Medicaid will do so soon so that we’ll see a healthier nation in the generations to come,” NPAF CEO Alan Balch, PhD says.

Media Contact:
Larry Lanier, President of State Advocacy & Community Outreach
National Patient Advocate Foundation
Direct:  202-347-8009 ext. 4117

Local Contact:  
John Thompson BSN, RN, Presidents Council Volunteer – Louisiana
National Patient Advocate Foundation
Direct: 337-366-5339

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