On January 12, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed an executive order to expand the state’s Medicaid program.1 Despite ample evidence that health care coverage saves lives and improves health outcomes, many individuals expressing opposition to the expansion hypothesized that coverage would not translate into access to medical care because clinicians would not take Medicaid insurance.2 In an effort to monitor whether coverage resulted in access, the Louisiana Department of Health created a dashboard to track the numbers of individuals covered by Medicaid and what services recipients were receiving. The department focused on the most meaningful and immediately impactful health care services: utilization of primary care visits, cancer screenings, mental health care, and substance use disorder visits.
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