WHEREAS, access to quality and affordable health care for the working poor is and should be a primary concern of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to expand Medicaid coverage for adults who are at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) at an increased federal percentage (Federal Medical Assistance Percentage or FMAP);
WHEREAS, the increased FMAP under Medicaid expansion requires the federal government to provide 100% of the funding for new enrollees through 2016, 95% in 2017, 94% in 2018, 93% in 2019, and 90% thereafter;
WHEREAS, the FMAP for Louisiana in federal FY2017 requires the federal government to provide 62.28% of Medicaid funding for services not eligible for enhanced FMAP;
WHEREAS, most of the people affected by Medicaid expansion are gainfully employed, yet have incomes where it is exceedingly difficult to afford health care coverage;
WHEREAS, the 2016 FPL for an individual is $11,770.00, while the FPL for a family of four is $24,250.00;
WHEREAS, several hundred thousand Louisiana citizens with incomes at or below 138% of the FPL may be eligible for Medicaid, if expanded;
WHEREAS, by failing to expand Medicaid under the previous administration, Louisiana has lost the opportunity to receive over $3,000,000,000.00 in federal health care funds;
WHEREAS, with Medicaid expansion, Louisiana could realize additional State General Fund savings of nearly $100,000,000.00 through FY2020;
WHEREAS, expansion of Medicaid will provide access to quality health care and result in significantly better health outcomes for the working poor; and
WHEREAS, expansion of Medicaid will also help to lessen Louisiana’s budget crisis and will keep more of the federal tax dollars paid by Louisiana citizens in Louisiana.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) shall create any and all state plan amendments to expand Medicaid to adults who are at or below 138% of the FPL with an effective date of no later than July 1, 2016.
SECTION 2: DHH shall adopt any administrative rules necessary to implement this expansion by July 1, 2016.
SECTION 3: DHH and all other executive branch departments shall take any and all actions within their delegated authority necessary to implement this expansion by July 1, 2016.
SECTION 4: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 12th day of January, 2016.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State