Medicaid expansion: State costs and the remaining gap


Gov. John Bel Edwards travels to New Orleans Wednesday to officially kick off enrollment for the state’s new Medicaid expansion program.

Will Laird of New Orleans could write a book on getting sick and having to shoulder all the expenses.

“You start relegating, can I live with this and dose it with over-the-counter medications?” he said.

He is a local musician who also works at restaurant, but his job does not provide health coverage. A couple of years ago he was forced to go to the hospital.

“Yeah, I got a $100,000 bill from the hospital. I make nowhere near that,” said Laird.

The expansion program is designed to help the working poor.

“To a mother who makes $14,000 a year, she is exactly the person who would fall into the gap in the past and now will be eligible for Medicaid,” said Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Dr. Rebekah Gee.

She and others said Medicaid expansion is not welfare.

“You’re really looking at an impact for people who are working, living, a part of our economy, contributing, paying taxes through payroll, through things they buy,” said Executive Director of

Article source: