BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — It's been slow-going for a national tea party group trying to get state lawmakers to pledge their opposition to Democrats' efforts to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program.

The Louisiana chapter of Americans for Prosperity sent the pledge request to all 144 lawmakers in February. A month later, Phillip Joffrion, director of the AFP state chapter, says he has over a dozen signatures.

That's not enough to defeat a Medicaid expansion bill.

But Joffrion says he expects to get pledges from many more lawmakers now that the legislative session has opened.

He says AFP has signatures from key legislative leaders, including Senate President John Alario and Rep. Scott Simon, chairman of the House health care committee.

Plus, lawmakers rejected the Medicaid expansion last year, and it's strongly opposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

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