U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu heightened her criticism Tuesday of Gov. Bobby Jindal's refusal to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program, accusing the governor of putting his presidential ambitions ahead of his citizens' health needs.BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu heightened her criticism Tuesday of Gov. Bobby Jindal's refusal to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program, accusing the governor of putting his presidential ambitions ahead of his citizens' health needs.
"It's his quest to be the next president and to check off the tea party 'I am the most conservative person in America' check list. If he were to get his mind and his heart on the people that he's representing, we might have better outcomes," Landrieu, a Democrat, said.
The Republican governor, considered a White House contender in 2016, opposes the Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal health care revamp, calling it an inappropriate growth of the federal government health care program.
Estimates are that 400,000 more Louisiana residents could be eligible for Medicaid if the state chose to expand the government-run health insurance program, with the federal government paying most of the costs.
Despite the federal funding, Jindal said the expansion would be too costly for states. He said insurance is better handled by private companies and states should be free to design health programs that suit their individual needs.
"The reality is Medicaid relies on an outdated model that costs taxpayers billions of dollars for poor outcomes. Yet, President Obama and his ally, Sen. Landrieu, would have you believe that a government program is good for economic development. It's a fundamental philosophical difference," Jindal said in a statement.
Landrieu, in a conference call touting the benefits of the expansion for Louisiana, called the governor an obstructionist.
She said his rebuff of the Medicaid money will hurt hospitals, damage the state economy and deprive hundreds of thousands of Louisiana's working poor from having access to better health care.
"In the crisis that the state budget is in, you would think that the governor would be looking for money, not rejecting it," said Landrieu, who is running for re-election next year.
Jindal's top political consultant, Timmy Teepell, said Landrieu's strong words were prompted by the governor's request to President Barack Obama a day earlier that he delay implementation of the health care law.
Jindal was pushing the delay as a way to cut federal government spending as deep automatic budget cuts are set to take effect March 1. Obama rejected the idea.
"The governor went to D.C. and told the President that he should delay Obamacare, so Obama sent his top disciple in Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, to attack Bobby," Teepell said.
The potential Medicaid expansion would cover adults making up to 138 percent of the poverty level — $15,414 for an individual or $30,650 for a family of four, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The federal government will cover the full costs of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016 and pick up most of the price tag after that, requiring states to pay up to 10 percent.
Kaiser estimates it would cost Louisiana about $1 billion over 10 years to expand the program to cover the additional low-income residents. The left-leaning Louisiana Budget Project said the state wouldn't have to put up that additional cash, however, calling it a break-even proposition because Louisiana would save a similar amount that it would otherwise spend on uninsured care over the same decade.
Jindal health secretary Bruce Greenstein said his department hasn't done modeling on what money currently spent on health care services for the uninsured could be used to offset the state's costs of a Medicaid expansion.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.