Edwards, Rispone spar over Medicaid

Medicaid becomes top sparring topic between candidates ahead of Gubernatorial runoff

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards slammed Eddie Rispone’s plan to “freeze” Medicaid enrollment during a press conference Thursday, Oct. 17.

Rispone argues the state should halt new enrollment and re-enrollment while it reforms the program so recipients who make too much money to be eligible are more easily identified and removed from the rolls.

But Edwards argues the plan to freeze the program would boot thousands off their insurance because the bulk of Medicaid recipients work seasonal or shift jobs with fluctuating incomes. If a person makes too much money in October, but loses a shift in November and again becomes eligible, they would not be able to re-enroll during a freeze.

“That’s more than 300,000 Louisianans, our brothers and sisters, right here in our state,” Edwards said. “Eddie Rispone would rip away their healthcare.”

The Rispone campaign called the press conference a political stunt and said the only way to protect the program is through reform.

“Unfortunately, John Bel Edwards has mismanaged the state Medicaid expansion so badly that he wasted $85 million of our money giving benefits to people who are not even eligible.”

Under Edwards, the state began checking recipients’ income more often. Thousands of ineligible recipients were booted off the rolls as a result, though Rispone argues that’s evidence more checking should be done.

Election Day is Nov. 16.

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