Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:42

Louisiana Obamacare Medicaid Expansion debate: WGSO-Bayoubuzz

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obamacare-wgsoToday, Sen. Ben Nevers's (D-Bogalusa) SB 96 bill is up for debate in the Louisiana Senate's health committee. Gov. Jindal has rejected the federally funded Medicaid expansion, stating that it would "improperly add people to a poorly-operated government program." SB 96, if it goes through, would allow the people of Louisiana to vote for or against the Medicaid expansion. This topic also came up during the WGSO Radio Show with Jeff Crouere and Stephen Sabludowsky:

 James, Metairie (caller): I'm also looking at an item on right now. According to a Louisiana Democratic Party press release, they're calling for a initiative to let the people of Louisiana vote on whether or not Medicaid should be expanded. The conservatives, especially the Christian conservatives, love to say, "The people voted, and they voted 'no' on same-sex marriage. That's the voice of the people." How likely is it that we're going to see the people being able to vote on the Medicaid expansion? There are people in this state who are not getting medical care because of the selfish motives of Bobby Jindal to advance his political career.

Crouere: I think it's unlikely that you'll see a vote on that. If you did, I don't think it would pass.

Sabludowsky: First, regarding his other comment: I actually read Tidmore's article. We did post part of the article regarding the threat that was allegedly made. I communicated with Tidmore about it, and he said that there was going to be a follow-up. Obviously, my question is how the person working for McAllister knows who is doing what. Do they have cameras in the bedrooms of elected officials? As far as the other question, I agree with Jeff. I don't think Louisiana voters would approve it. Am I in favor of it? I want to ask why this is different from other issues and where there might be a referendum on the ballot. You can always make the argument that the people should decide instead of the legislators. Why is this different? I'm not saying it's not. I think it's going to cost Louisiana a lot more money and hurt a lot more people to not expand Medicaid if Gov. Jindal does not have a plan to deal with the situation. To my knowledge, he does not.

Crouere: He did announce a healthcare plan a few weeks ago, but that had more of a national scope.

Sabludowsky: Isn't it interesting that he released a 50-page national healthcare plan, but down in Louisiana, where he's Governor, we don't have a plan. The hospitals are saying that they're losing money because they are not being reimbursed sufficiently.

Crouere: He's not the only Governor who has decided not to expand Medicaid. This is a position that a majority of the Republican Governors have taken.

Sabludowsky: Sure. They need to state what they are going to do instead of expanding Medicaid. Not every state has the incredible poverty and poor health that Louisiana has. It has been aggravated by Jindal; we could have done something about smoking in public places, but he was against that. The only time when he was in favor of it was to raise revenue for the state.

Crouere: He makes the claim that expanding Medicaid is something we can't afford. It would bust our budget. You don't buy that?

Sabludowsky: Judging by what legislators have said and written, I don't think they buy it, either. What concerns me is what it might do to the federal budget. I'm not concerned that much about what it's going to do to the state budget.

Crouere: The federal budget is funded by taxpayers. Isn't it all our money one way or the other?

Sabludowsky: Yes, it is. That's an argument. What concerns me is what might happen nationally. But statewide, I don't know. Right now, we have an article written by Tyler Bridges on arguing that we're going to be close to a billion dollars in the whole next year. Jindal is going to be up in Washington, and we're going to be suffering down here.

Crouere: Let's Flaming Liberal talk for a short time.

Flaming Liberal: A study found that the Medicaid expansion will save the state money over a period of ten years.

Bayoubuzz Staff

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