"We'd love to see a proposal about what it looks like to fix the state's budget problems and talk about that before we go committing ourselves to something down the road."
The federal government covers the initial costs of Medicaid expansion, but the state's cost will grow to 10 percent in coming years. Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany feels it's irresponsible to move forward with Medicaid expansion without making changes to the current program. He says we should look to provide health care that is affordable with a focus on quality.
"I think this is where a simple expansion of the Medicaid program under the current circumstances will take care of neither of those things."
However, the Louisiana AARP applauds Governor Edwards executive order. State Director Denise Bottcher believes Medicaid expansion will go a long way to make Louisiana a healthier state. She says this can make a real difference in the lives of thousands of Louisianians.
"His actions will provide health care for at least 592,000 uninsured adults in Louisiana."
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid expansion will help nearly 49,000 Louisianians under the age of 65 who have lost their jobs or are struggling without health benefits. Bottcher believes this will give residents peace of mind that if they get sick they'll get the health care they deserve without going bankrupt.
"They will have access to preventative care. They won't have to go to the emergency room. They can get access to nurse practitioners, to family physicians, to internists."