Facing a no-win political situation, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is trying to work around legislation he signed into law Friday that’s promoted as a path to creating state-level healthcare protections for Louisiana residents if the federal health law is overturned.
The law—backed by Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, an Edwards political rival—would allow Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s office to create a high-risk pool to help Louisiana residents with preexisting conditions access insurance if the federal law is thrown out. But such a creation requires more legislative approvals and doesn’t yet have financing to pay for any plan developed.
Though he called the legislation “a fig leaf designed to prevent embarrassment,” Edwards, wanting to appear proactive on healthcare issues, is creating a task force to study additional responses to the pending federal litigation threatening the Affordable Care Act.
The governor’s task force to study state-level response options if the federal health law is overturned holds its first meeting July 17.