Letter: Medicaid expansion saves lives, money

As a health-care provider, I was encouraged by the new report released by the state Department of Health and Hospitals, which provides new evidence Medicaid expansion is the right choice for Louisiana.

This report, “Understanding the Impact of a Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana,” also asserts that extending Medicaid coverage to low-income adults could potentially save our state hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.

Medicaid expansion is a crucial step in the path toward improving health outcomes in Louisiana. It will mean greater access to preventive care and disease management that can save lives as opposed to delayed care and more-costly visits to the emergency rooms for patients who are currently uninsured.

It’s important for Louisiana to leverage the Medicaid federal funding to extend lifesaving health coverage to more than 400,000 low-income individuals and families.

It’s time we follow the lead of states around the country, and I strongly encourage our state lawmakers to accept the federal money to cover more people and save taxpayer dollars.

dR. Rani G. Whitfield

physician

Baton Rouge