In June 2016, the Foundation invited a group of journalists with a strong focus on health policy and state health reform to participate in a week-long fellowship program focused on health care in Louisiana, as it prepared to become the first state in the Deep South to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The site visits in Baton Rouge and New Orleans gave the journalists the opportunity to hear from a variety of experts and stakeholders on replicable, inexpensive strategies for enrolling 375,000 people in Medicaid over a tight time frame; changes to the state’s model for providing care to low-income and uninsured people; technological advances for managing patient health; and collaborative partnerships in health care. The program included briefings by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s health secretary Rebekah Gee, Louisiana Medicaid Expansion Project Director Ruth Kennedy, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, as well as visits to Medicaid enrollment centers and primary care clinics established after Hurricane Katrina. The journalists also toured facilities of three of the state’s major health systems, where executives provided updates on the anticipated impact of Medicaid expansion and on the health care environment post Katrina.
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured published a fact sheet that summarizes Louisiana’s Health Care Landscape. The Foundation also produced a fact sheet on the state’s Medicaid expansion, Becoming “Healthy Louisiana”: An Overview of Planning Efforts to Implement the Medicaid Expansion.
Jeff Cohn, health correspondent, WNPR public radio, Hartford, CT
Jonathan Cohn, senior health correspondent, The Huffington Post
Elizabeth Crisp, reporter, The Advocate, Baton Rouge
-“Louisiana officials praise Medicaid expansion; 225,900 have signed up as of Friday,” The Advocate, June 26, 2016
Melinda Deslatte, reporter, AP, Baton Rouge
-“Louisiana 1st state in Deep South to expand Medicaid,” AP, June 30, 2016
Gisele Grayson, senior producer science desk, NPR, Washington, D.C.
Anna Maria Barry-Jester, public health reporter, FiveThirtyEight
Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak, health policy correspondent, NPR, Washington, D.C.
-“Louisiana Medicaid Expansion Brings Insurance To Many New Orleans Musicians,” NPR, July 1, 2016
Noam Levey, national healthcare reporter, Washington bureau, The Los Angeles Times
-“In Louisiana, the rush to sign up for Obamacare highlights a ‘long overdue’ demand for health insurance,” The Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2016
Kevin Litten, politics reporter, NOLA/The Times Picayune, Baton Rouge
-“How health care advocates won the PR battle to expand Medicaid,” NOLA/The Times Picayune, June 21, 2016
-“Louisiana Medicaid expansion and the promise of economic security,” NOLA/The Times Picayune, June 30, 2016
-“New Orleans clinics, hospitals help pay for signing up new Medicaid clients,” NOLA/The Times Picayune, June 30, 2016
-“A rush to ERs in Louisiana Medicaid expansion? Clinics hope to fill that need,” NOLA/The Times Picayune, July 1, 2016
Shefali Luthra, web reporter, Kaiser Health News, Washington, D.C.
Harris Meyer, senior reporter, Modern Healthcare, Chicago
-“Blog: Louisiana hospitals welcome Medicaid expansion but fret about budget cuts,” Modern Healthcare, June 14, 2016
-“Blog: Louisiana Gov. Edwards tells how he won the Medicaid expansion battle,” Modern Healthcare, June 15, 2016
-“Medicaid expansion hits Deep South,” Modern Healthcare, June 18, 2016
Andy Miller, editor, Georgia Health News, Atlanta, GA
-“Will Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion provide a model for other states?,” Georgia Health News, June 20, 2016
-“Will Louisiana’s Medicaid Expansion Be A Harbinger For Georgia?,” Kaiser Health News, June 29, 2016
Jayne O’Donnell, healthcare policy reporter, USA Today
-“Louisiana, the U.S. incarceration capital, prepares for expanded Medicaid,” USA Today, June 27, 2016
Rachana Pradhan, health care reporter, Politico Pro, Washington, D.C.
-“Will Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion be judged as a success or not in four years?,” Politico Pulse, June 15, 2016
-“How Medicaid expansion took off in Louisiana,” Politico Pro, June 23, 2016
Julie Rovner, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News, Washington, D.C.