State lawmakers seek more review of Medicaid expansion

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Lawmakers are urging Gov. Bobby Jindal's health department to look at alternative program models to tap

into the Medicaid expansion money available under the federal health care law.

The issue came up repeatedly Tuesday during a House Appropriations Committee review of next year's budget for the Department

of Health and Hospitals.

Democratic Rep. Walt Leger asked DHH Undersecretary Jerry Phillips to track negotiations in Arkansas, which asked federal

officials to let it use the Medicaid money to buy private insurance policies.

Republican Rep. John Schroder says he wants more explanation for why the Jindal administration is rejecting the billions of

dollars in federal health care money that would be used to cover as much as 400,000 uninsured people.

Phillips says the current Medicaid program is too inflexible and inefficient.