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"The reality is Medicaid relies on an outdated model that costs taxpayers billions of dollars for poor outcomes.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.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)