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Fight to Expand Access to Health Insurance for Louisiana’s Uninsured, Working Families Continues

Louisiana Democrats Pledge to Continue Legislative Efforts to Help 400,000 Uninsured Louisianians Get Coverage

BATON ROUGE — Democrats in the Louisiana Senate today pledged to continue their efforts to enact legislation that would expand access to health insurance for 400,000 working Louisianians by using federal Medicaid dollars.

“We are not giving up on this fight,” said LDP Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “There’s too much at stake. Nearly half a million uninsured, working Louisianians are counting on us to do the right thing for the people of this state.”

“In my home parish, Washington Parish, there are almost 8,000 uninsured adults,” said Sen. Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa). “If we are able to use federal Medicaid dollars to expand access to health insurance, we could reduce those numbers by half. We’re talking about working people, people who get up and go to work every day, sometimes working two or three jobs to make ends meet. They deserve our help, and we will not give up on them — or our colleagues in the Legislature.”

Last week, the New York Times detailed how in states that are refusing to expand access to Medicaid, millions of the working poor will receive no assistance in receiving health care, while those with higher incomes will receive subsidies to purchase health insurance through the exchanges.

“That scenario is a certainty if we do not expand access to health insurance for the working poor in this state,” said Peterson. “And more than that, it’s a travesty. How can we say to someone that they don’t earn enough to qualify for health insurance subsidies? It’s outrageous.”