March 14, 2017 11:43 AM

Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Congress to keep the Medicaid expansion program intact as they work to replace President Barack Obama's health care law.

Louisiana's Democratic governor sent a letter Tuesday to Republican and Democratic congressional leaders. In it, he says he has "serious concern" with the GOP health plan because it would end the higher federal financing rate for Medicaid expansion in 2020.

Edwards embraced the expansion, making Louisiana the 31st state to participate. More than 405,000 people have enrolled in the coverage.

In his letter, Edwards says more than 62,000 of the enrollees have had preventive health care treatments, with some getting diagnosed with — and treated for — cancer and diabetes.

He says Medicaid expansion has saved Louisiana money and boosted health jobs in the state.