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Medicaid Expansion Can’t Wait, Louisiana Needs Healthcare Now

The people of Louisiana have spoken, and with one voice they have called on our elected leaders to end the cynical intransigence that has been the hallmark of the last seven years, and to finally accept Medicaid expansion under the aegis of the Affordable Care Act. Expanding Medicaid will help over 362,000 Louisiana residents right away. Working Louisiana taxpayers in industries ranging from food service and retail work to construction, transportation and healthcare support will finally have access to affordable healthcare— and they cannot afford to wait one more day. Voters delivered a mandate with the election results, making clear their enthusiastic support for Governor-elect John Bel Edwards’ commitment to Medicaid expansion.

Access to affordable healthcare can’t come quickly enough. Last year, over 18,000 Louisiana citizens diagnosed with mental health conditions were denied access to treatment. With the changing of the guard in the governor’s office, state legislators are finally beginning to appreciate the urgency of their constituents’ need. A state Senate committee yesterday formally urged the current administration to move more quickly toward expanding access.

“We’re calling on the current administration to do everything possible to expedite this process and make Medicaid expansion a reality right away,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “There should be no remaining obstacle standing the way, and there’s no reason 362,000 of our fellow citizens should have to wait until after January 11th to get access to desperately needed care.”

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