Press releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards today requesting a meeting with him and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to help expedite a waiver to institute work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.  

“I am encouraged that Gov. Edwards is considering work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “With the Legislature’s leaders taking a strong stand in support of requirements, coupled with the governor’s willingness to consider them, we are closer than ever.  But we have to work together to get it across the finish line.  I look forward to meeting with Gov. Edwards and Administrator Verma soon to help smooth and expedite the process. ”

Sen. Kennedy introduced a bill last year, the Medicaid Reform and Personal Responsibility Act, which would require adults between the ages of 18 and 55, who have no dependents and are not disabled, to spend 20 hours a week working in a job, going to school or doing community service in order to continue to receive free health care through Medicaid.

The text of Sen. Kennedy’s letter to Gov. Edwards can be found below:


January 16, 2018


The Honorable John Bel Edwards


State of Louisiana

P.O. Box 94004

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804


By email, fax, and U.S. mail


Dear Governor Edwards:


            It is my understanding that your administration is actively working to impose work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.  Louisiana needs to quickly impose this work requirement.  In fact, Louisiana needs to have a proposal on the table well before Easter. 

As you know, Kentucky recently became the first state to adopt Medicaid work requirements after its application was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 12.  To date, CMS has received proposals from nine other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.  

To further your administration’s progress and to expedite the waiver approval process, I respectfully request a meeting with you, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, and myself.  The consultant the state recently hired is also welcome to join the meeting.  My hope is that, together, we can get Louisiana’s waiver approved within 60 days of our meeting.

I can work with your office to identify possible dates for a meeting in Washington, D.C.  If you are unable to meet, my hope is that you will consider putting this issue into your call for a special session.

Thank you, Governor, for your consideration of this request.  I look forward to hearing from you.



John Kennedy

United States Senator