By Melinda Deslatte

Though Gov. John Bel Edwards previously said Louisiana would seek to impose work requirements on certain adult Medicaid recipients, his administration isn’t pursuing such a mandate, backpedaling on an idea struck down in other states by a federal judge.

The Democratic governor announced in January 2018 that his administration was “actively working” on the concept, which has been pushed by Republicans who criticize Edwards for adding 500,000 people to government-financed health insurance through Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid work-requirement legislation stalled last year in the majority-GOP Legislature, but the Edwards administration suggested talks would continue. A year later, the governor is taking a different approach, announcing a pilot program Monday to offer free skills training to about 50 Medicaid expansion recipients, to help them get higher-wage jobs.

The Associated Press asked for updates on the work requirement discussions across several months, getting scant information. The governor’s office now points to the training initiative between the health department and Louisiana Delta Community College as the outgrowth of those discussions.