Medicaid expansion may benefit many in service industry


People walk around every day in Louisiana nervous they may get sick. Jeremy Moore is one of them and his concern is for good reason.

“Half the time I can’t even go to see a doctor because I can’t afford it,” said Moore.

He works at a New Orleans restaurant and does not receive health coverage as part of his employment. Starting June 1, enrollment kicks off for Louisiana’s new expanded Medicaid program. It is designed to help more of the working poor gain health coverage.

Moore hopes he qualifies.

New Orleans is Louisiana’s tourism hotspot, and the state’s health chief, Dr. Rebekah Gee, said the ability to expand the number of people with government-funded insurance will greatly benefit New Orleans. 

“We have a lot of restaurant workers, entertainment people who work in our hotels and hospitality industry,” Gee said. “Many of these people don’t have access to insurance. In fact, in New Orleans we have more people than almost any other region in the state who would benefit – around 110,000 people.”

Longtime French Quarter businessman Robert Watters agrees.

“I think that in New Orleans there are a lot of people who are part-time

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