Newly in office, Edwards starting Medicaid expansion plan

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – On his first full day in office, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is reversing course from his Republican predecessor and starting the process to expand Louisiana’s Medicaid program.

Edwards signed the executive order Tuesday, ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Baton Rouge, where he’ll champion his federal health care overhaul that allows for the Medicaid expansion.

Louisiana’s governor says he wants to have government-funded health insurance cards in more people’s hands by July 1.

Under the governor’s plan, Louisiana would join 30 other states that have undertaken Medicaid expansions, including several states overseen by Republicans. But expansion efforts have been stymied in most Southern states amid GOP resistance.

It’s unclear whether Louisiana’s Republican-led Legislature will try to throw up roadblocks to slow down Edwards’ expansion plan.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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