MEMO: Jindal on Campaign Trail Today in New Hampshire — Latest State to Move Forward with Medicaid Expansion
To: Interested Parties
From: Stephen Handwerk, Louisiana Democratic Party
Re: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Trip to New Hampshire
As the Louisiana Legislature wraps up the first week of its 2014 session, Gov. Bobby Jindal isn’t focused on working with legislators to…
Address the state’s appalling poverty rate (second-worst in the nation);
Take steps to tackle Louisiana’s gender pay gap (second-worst in the nation); or
Improve the overall health of Louisianians (third-worst in the nation).
Instead Jindal is announcing a new political action committee and heading to New Hampshire — which is, not coincidentally, an early primary state. Jindal will make eight stops, including one to keynote the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference on Friday night.
Jindal leaves Louisiana for New Hampshire just as the Granite State is moving closer to approving a compromise Medicaid expansion plan for more than 50,000 residents. Earlier this week the Republican-controlled New Hampshire Senate approved legislation to allow the state to accept Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance for low-income workers — 100 percent paid for by the federal government. Despite a concerted lobbying effort by the Koch brothers’ dark-money group, Americans for Prosperity, the New Hampshire Senate voted 18-5 in favor of the plan. The Democratic-led House is expected to approve the legislation and send it to Gov. Maggie Hassan for her signature.
New Hampshire’s bipartisan deal on Medicaid expansion mirrors the Arkansas private-option plan, which was approved by the federal government and won reauthorization in the Arkansas legislature last week. During this session Louisiana legislators are mulling similar proposals to help more than 240,000 Louisianians who have fallen into the Jindal gap — earning too much for Medicaid and not enough for subsidies on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
To date Jindal has never offered any proposal to expand access to affordable health care for those 240,000 uninsured Louisianians. As state after state realizes the benefits of accepting the federal Medicaid dollars, Jindal has been obstinate in his opposition and refused to compromise. Republican governors in Michigan and Pennsylvania are moving forward with Medicaid expansion, and today Jindal is visiting a state — New Hampshire — where Republicans are taking action to help cover the uninsured.
Will New Hampshire Republicans offer Jindal their perspectives on Medicaid expansion?
Will Jindal condemn those Republicans who embraced compromise and voted in favor of Medicaid expansion?
And will Jindal take note of the failure of Americans for Prosperity to block Medicaid expansion in the Granite State?