A statewide Baptist leader talking about the helpless living under a New Orleans interstate and dying due to the lack of healthcare; A healthy discussion about how to provide necessary healthcare to the needy without breaking the federal budget.
These were heavy emotions driven by politics and policies.
Ultimately, the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee in a 6-2 vote opted to defer the legislation by Senator Ben Nevers on the question of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act. Louisiana Governor Jindal and the Republican Party has opposed the expansion.
Here is the video of the final moments of a very emotional discussion and closing arguments from today's hearing.
Just in: 4:32pm
Today, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., made the following statement in response to the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee’s 6-2 vote against State Sen. Ben Nevers’s bill to let Louisianians vote on a constitutional amendment to accept $16 billion that will expand basic health coverage for 240,000 workers in the state:
“Today’s vote by the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee that scuttled an opportunity to allow Louisiana voters to decide for themselves whether to use $16 billion of their own money to expand basic health coverage to 240,000 hard-working Louisianians makes no sense. I applaud Sen. Nevers’s heroic efforts to take this decision out of the Governor’s politics and put it into the hands of the people. This is a lost opportunity to generate $1.8 billion in economic activity and to create 15,600 jobs for Louisiana in 2016 alone. And, it is a lost opportunity to save our state budget as much as $500 million over the next decade.
“I do not understand how legislators who voted ‘no’ today can explain to the people of their districts why they don’t trust them to make this decision. Hospitals, particularly rural hospitals, will be hard hit. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals impacted negatively, and the brunt of this misguided decision will be felt most acutely by small businesses that employ many of these workers. Letting the people decide this makes sense to me, but evidently not to Governor Jindal and the legislature.”