Louisiana Medicaid managed-care deals up for a third debate

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration is trying a third time to persuade lawmakers to approve contract extensions for Louisiana’s Medicaid managed-care companies, which coordinate health services for 1.5 million people.

The joint legislative budget committee debates the deals again Friday.

GOP lawmakers have questioned whether the health department is doing enough to monitor and squeeze savings out of deals estimated to cost $15.4 billion over 23 months.

The Edwards administration says it’s improved the contract terms it inherited from former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.

The first committee hearing on the extensions ended without a vote. The next time the contracts were up, House Republicans rejected them.

Lawmakers don’t have a backup plan to provide Medicaid services to nearly one-third of Louisiana’s residents if the managed-care deals expire at January’s end.