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Louisiana Democratic Party Statement on Committee Vote on Senate Bill 96

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Democratic Party today released the following statement on the Senate Health and Welfare Committee’s vote to defer Sen. Ben Nevers’ legislation to let Louisiana decide to expand access to affordable health care for more than 240,000 uninsured Louisianians who are trapped in the “Jindal gap.”

“Today’s vote is a disappointing example of how shadowy groups backed by out-of-state billionaires have imported hyperpartisan, D.C.-style politics into Louisiana,” said Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “Organizations like Americans for Prosperity can spew misinformation and myths, but they have no plan, no proposal of how to expand access to more than 240,000 uninsured, working adults who earn too much for Medicaid and not enough for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act. When they won’t even support allowing a vote of the people, you have to wonder just why they’re so afraid of democracy. The senators today heard testimony about several other states that are experimenting with creative ways to expand access to private insurance using the federal Medicaid expansion dollars. These sorts of bipartisan, compromise proposals would seem to be just what the doctor ordered for Louisiana, but the Jindal administration hasn’t even looked into them. Jindal and groups like AFP are content to sit by and score political points as working Louisianians struggle, suffer and die for lack of health coverage.”

“When the moral and fiscal arguments fail, there is only one argument left to make — the political one,” said Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “To every senator and representative that stands in the way of expanding access to health care for those working Louisianians who are in the Jindal gap, I say this — when you abandon the people of Louisiana, do not be surprised if they abandon you.”