BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An LSU public health professor is Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards' choice to lead Louisiana's health department, the largest agency in state government.This will draw attention not only because of how important it is in and of itself but also because of its political significance. Edwards' commitment to immediate Medicaid expansion was a major campaign promise which differentiated him from every other candidate. It’s is crucial that this promise be kept.
Dr. Rebekah Gee was named Tuesday as Edwards' secretary for the Department of Health and Hospitals.
In that role, she'll oversee a $9.7 billion agency that accounts for more than one-third of the state's budget. She'll also be the figurehead for Edwards' plan to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care law.
The good news is it looks like they're taking that seriously.
Dr Gee says La will expand Medicaid on first day of the Edwards administration— Mark Ballard (@MarkBallardCnb) January 5, 2016
Update: On the other hand, another major campaign promise of Edwards's involved "firing" John White. His new BESE appointees appear to be crawfishing a bit.
In an interview Edwards' three BESE appointees all said they would be "open" to working with White, but didn't outright endorse him. Two of three appointees have an existing relationship with White, because they are already active in primary and secondary education.