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Study: Failure to Expand Medicaid Costing Louisiana Taxpayers $1.65 Billion

240,000 Louisianians Falling Into “Jindal Gap” — Earn Too Much for Medicaid, Not Enough for Subsidies

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to turn down Medicaid dollars is fiscally irresponsible, with a new study finding Louisiana taxpayers will lose out on $1.65 billion in federal funds, while 240,000 Louisianians fall into the “Jindal gap” — making too much for Medicaid and not enough for premium subsidies.

“Expanding access to affordable health care with federal Medicaid dollars would be the smart choice for Louisiana,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “To date 26 states and the District of Columbia have taken up the Medicaid expansion opportunity, giving millions more Americans access to affordable health care. Republican governors like John Kasich, Jan Brewer and Chris Christie have acknowledged fiscal realities and put politics aside to help the people of Ohio, Arizona and New Jersey. It’s long past time that Jindal do the same for the people of Louisiana.”

The Times-Picayune editorial board took Jindal to task for refusing the Medicaid expansion dollars this weekend, writing, “There’s really no sensible reason to turn it all down, and Gov. Jindal ought to see that.” The editorial noted that the state will pay $280 million for the Medicaid expansion in 2022, but that number is dwarfed by the $2.2 billion Louisiana will spend on economic incentives to attract business.

The Kaiser Family Foundation calculated that 242,150 uninsured Louisianians will miss out on affordable health care because Jindal is failing to expand Medicaid health insurance. Those citizens earn too much to qualify for Medicaid under the current standards, but they make too little to qualify for subsidies on health insurance marketplace.