Medical professionals along with state and local officials came together Friday for the second annual Louisiana Center for Health Equity Heath Summit at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
The goal of the event is to build partnerships in the medical community to improve community health and to advance policy for a healthy Louisiana.
Due to current events in our nation’s capital with the movement to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the focus of this years summit turned out to be a complete 180 from last year.
Alma Stewart from the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, said, “Last year we were celebrating that the governor had signed the executive order to expand Medicaid. This year we are just hoping that the Medicaid expansion won’t be taken away”.
Many, including Governor John Bel Edwards have voiced concerns that Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion will disappear if the plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act goes through.
He said, “The proposals that they have on the table right now will result in several hundred thousand Louisianians losing healthcare coverage. We have about 400,000 people who are benefiting from the expansion. We are saving lives, we’re improving lives, we are making people healthier and we are saving money in the state of Louisiana. The health care sector has never employed so many people then it does right now”.
Organizers of the Health Summit say that no matter what the future holds for the Affordable Care Act, medical professionals around the state will continue to work with elected officials not only to improve healthcare in our state, but to help improve healthcare nation-wide.