Frustration mounts about Louisiana Medicaid contract dispute


Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the governor’s chief budget adviser, left; House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, center; and Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, speak ahead of a meeting of Louisiana’s income forecasting panel on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers are growing frustrated with an ongoing dispute over $21 billion in state Medicaid contracts.

Irritation about the handling of the contracts by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration spilled out Thursday evening in a budget hearing.

Lawmakers received few answers about when new agreements covering the health care services of 1.5 million Medicaid patients would be in place.

Republican Rep. Rick Edmonds says lawmakers have gotten too little information about the Department of Health’s decision-making process in choosing the four contractors and whether claims of impropriety in the process are true.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says state law doesn’t allow those conversations yet.

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