Louisiana House Republicans block Medicaid contract extensions

House Republican lawmakers have blocked contract extensions for managed-care companies that coordinate services for 1.5 million Medicaid patients in Louisiana.

The extensions sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration were up for approval today in the joint House and Senate budget committee. Senators unanimously backed the 23-month extensions, while House lawmakers voted 18-6 against them.

Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, who led the House push to stall approval, says he wants the Edwards administration to squeeze more savings out of deals estimated to cost $15.4 billion, and come back in December.

The contracts expire in January.

State health department officials say the only way to cut contract costs is to change services, which happens outside the contracting process. They say refusal to extend the contracts would damage services for Medicaid patients.

The Associated Press has the full story.

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