BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana's health department and four insurance companies chosen for $21 billion in Medicaid deals are challenging a decision to rescind the contract awards. 

The Department of Health and the private companies filed their appeals late Friday. 

They're arguing Louisiana's state procurement officer Paula Tregre didn't follow the law when she decided to throw out the three-year contract awards. Lawyers for the health department say Tregre made “multiple factual and legal errors” in her decision, and they argue that she took too long to decide. 

At issue are multibillion-dollar Medicaid contracts awarded by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration to companies that will oversee care for about 90% of Louisiana's Medicaid enrollees, about 1.5 million people.

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