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U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., right. (American Press Archives)

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., right. (American Press Archives)

Landrieu: Jindal putting political aspirations ahead of state's best interests

Last Modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:37 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Gov. Bobby Jindal is putting his prospects for being president ahead of the best interests of Louisiana’s economy and its residents’ health, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Tuesday.

Her criticism stemmed from Jindal’s refusal to participate in the Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government would cover $25 billion of the cost for expanding Medicaid over the next decade.

The state would pay $1.8 billion of that cost, which would cover more than 400,000 uninsured residents. Initially, Obamacare required states to implement the Medicaid expansion, but a U.S. Supreme Court decision last June left the decision to the states.

“It’s very disheartening to me and a growing number of people in our state,” Landrieu said at a news conference. “It’s his quest to be the next president and to check off the tea party ‘I am the most conservative person in America’ checklist.”

More than 15,000 jobs would be created in the health care sector by 2016, according to a report released by Families USA in conjunction with the Louisiana Healthcare Coalition.

“If he would get his mind and his heart on the people he’s representing, we might have some better outcomes,” Landrieu said, adding that Jindal’s “obstructionism” is a “pattern that is very worrisome.”

“Southwest Louisiana and all of our state would suffer if Governor Jindal does not expand Medicaid,” Landrieu said in a prepared statement after the news conference.

“Right now, 18 percent of people in Calcasieu Parish and 23 percent in Cameron Parish lack health insurance. That’s approximately 31,339 people in the Lake Charles metropolitan area alone that could become healthier and more productive members of our workforce thanks to the Medicaid expansion.”

Not only would Louisiana receive money from the federal government, but Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said the state “would save money” by opting into the Medicaid expansion.

So far, seven Republican governors have opted in. Pollack, who led the news conference, echoed Landrieu’s statements, adding that the real distinction between these governors and Jindal is that Jindal is a potential presidential candidate.

“The state has to pay for significant costs for those uninsured people who get care and cannot pay for it,” Pollack said in his report at the news conference. “We estimate over the next decade the state’s budget would experience a savings of approximately $267 million.”

By Jindal rejecting the expansion, he is “committing fiscal malpractice” on behalf of Louisiana, Pollack said.

Following the news conference, the governor’s office released a statement in which Jindal said that if Louisiana opted into that Medicaid expansion, it would cost taxpayers more than $1 billion in 10 years.

“The reality is Medicaid relies on an outdated model that costs taxpayers billions of dollars for poor outcomes,” Jindal said in the prepared statement.

“Yet President Obama and his ally, Senator Landrieu, would have you believe that a government program is good for economic development. It’s a fundamental philosophical difference. Senator Landrieu and President Obama believe that growing government will help grow jobs. That’s not how the economy works.”

Posted By: T.D. Burnett On: 2/27/2013

Title: Landrieu

I may not always agree with Jindall but never disagree enough to believe Landrieu's socialist ideas. Remember--she sold us out for health care. When I see her on tv spouting Obama's agenda, I hope conservatives in Louisiana vote herout of office.

Posted By: Flora Stringer On: 2/27/2013

Title: Landrieu: Jindal putting political aspirations ahead of state's best interests

Great balanced, unbiased coverage. Thanks for exposure of both Jindal and Landrieu. It's long overdue for both of those to get out of politics. Jindal has been an absent governor with his eyes on D.C. the entire time. That would be a disaster following a double obama disaster. He has been an awful governor and went back in unopposed perhaps because a worse replacement was not available. Landrieu is a carbon copy of obama as well. She has created enough problems; it's past time for her to get outta politics and go home.

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