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Louisianians Fighting to Close the Jindal Gap, Protect Louisiana Hospitals

HOUMA — Terrebonne Parish Councilwoman Arlanda Williams and former state Rep. Damon Baldone are speaking out, along with Dr. Gary Wiltz of the Teche Action Clinic in Houma and Robert Reed, a Louisianian who is stuck in the “Jindal gap,” about more than 240,000 uninsured Louisianians who are being left behind because Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to accept billions in funding for health care.

“We support legislation that will expand access to affordable health care for more than 240,000 Louisianians — people like Robert Reed, who have worked hard and played by the rules their entire lives,” said Councilwoman Williams. “These are working families who earn too much for Medicaid and not enough for subsidies on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This issue is important, not just for those working families who are caught in the middle. It’s also important for the future of our hospitals and community health centers — places like the Teche Action Clinic, that have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, but will struggle to continue serving this community if we don’t accept these federal Medicaid dollars.”

“Here in Louisiana, community health centers have received an additional $78 million in new investments through the Affordable Care Act,” said Dr. Wiltz. “That has helped clinics across the state add staff and expand to serve even more Louisianians — regardless of their income. However, if we do not expand access to affordable health care, our community health centers will miss out on $16 million in funding this year.”

“The federal government is deferring more than $300 million in Medicaid payments to the state as they consider Jindal’s hospital privatization plans,” said Baldone. “The Jindal administration admits they have no Plan B. In short, our hospitals could be facing disaster. But there’s a simple solution if we want to protect our community health centers and hospitals. Actually there are two…we can ask the taxpayers to pay more to fund our hospitals. I don’t think that’s the answer. Or we can accept billions in federal Medicaid dollars to expand access to affordable health care. I believe we should let the people decide whether they want their tax dollars to come back to Louisiana to be used for the health and welfare of the people of this state.”

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Dr. Gary Wiltz of the Teche Action Clinic

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