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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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News in Brief- July 7, 2019

News in Brief- July 7, 2019

Another 11,500 people removed from Louisiana Medicaid rolls

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Nearly 11,500 people were kicked out of Louisiana's Medicaid program at the end of June because they didn't prove they qualified for the government health insurance coverage.

Health department spokeswoman Kelly Zimmerman confirmed the removals Monday. They were the second round of people booted from Medicaid under new quarterly wage checks that started this year.

About 17,000 Medicaid enrollees received notices in May, flagged by a new computer check that determined they earned too much for the program. The letters advised recipients they needed to prove their eligibility for the taxpayer-financed insurance or coverage ended June 30.

The new computer system does quarterly, rather than annual, eligibility checks and uses more wage data for comparison. More than 30,000 Medicaid recipients lost benefits at March's end in the first quarterly check.


HIV cases in Louisiana drop to lowest in more than a decade

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Health Wednesday announced that fewer people have been diagnosed with an HIV infection in the past year than in any of the previous 10 years.

According to the Department’s Bureau of Infectious Diseases, there were 989 people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018. This number of people newly diagnosed with HIV in Louisiana has declined over 12% in the past three years from 1,124 new cases in 2016 to 989 in 2018. In the years since 2005, there have never been fewer than 1,000 people who were newly diagnosed with HIV.

Dr. Alexander Billioux, assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health, says it may be even more than 10 years since this HIV measure was this low.


Edwards completes bill decisions from Louisiana session

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has made decisions on every bill from this year's legislative session that reached his desk, signing all but six of them into law.

The Democratic governor's office released his final bill decisions Monday evening, announcing Edwards signed Louisiana's construction budget and a companion financing measure passed June 6 in the final hours of the legislative session.

Before signing the construction budget into law, Edwards stripped $18 million in projects from the legislation with his line-item veto.

Across the 11 special and regular legislative sessions held since he took office in 2016, Edwards has never let a single bill become law without his signature. He's always taken action, either through signature or veto, on every bill that's crossed his desk.