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Jindal Punishes Louisiana Businesses and Families with ACA Obstructionism

Governor Bobby Jindal has emerged as the Republicans’ lead obstructionist to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He has refused the participate in the formation of a health insurance exchange to serve Louisiana residents, families and businesses. He has declared that he will not allow Louisiana to participate in the expansion of Medicaid made possible through the Act, thus denying health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Louisiana citizens.

New-LDP-Logo-291x300Governor Jindal will appear with Governor Howard Dean on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday, July 1.

“It is clear that the Governor has chosen political grandstanding over the well-being of the Louisiana people,” said LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson. “He has chosen to punish Louisiana citizens, families, businesses and health care providers in a brazen attempt to bolster his national political ambition.

“Governor Jindal’s politically motivated obstructionism on ACA reduces Louisiana businesses, citizens, families and health care providers to second class citizenship by denying them access to the full benefits of the law, which the Supreme Court upheld this week,” Carter Peterson said. 

By refusing to participate in the formation of the Louisiana Health Insurance Exchange, Governor Jindal has forfeited the state’s rightful role to help tailor the exchange to work best for Louisiana businesses and working families. A well-operating exchange would introduce transparency and better pricing to the Louisiana health insurance market. The state also forfeits its opportunity to define the kinds of health plans that can be offered in Louisiana due to Jindal’s obstructionism.

The Governor’s politically motivated grandstanding on the health insurance exchange punishes Louisianans while boosting his national prospects.

By refusing to allow Louisiana to participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program, the Governor is denying health insurance coverage to at least 360,000 working Louisiana residents who cannot afford health insurance. Again, he has done this in order to raise his national profile.

Governor Jindal is punishing more than 360,000 working Louisiana residents in order to advance his political ambition.

The Affordable Care Act is Good for What Ails Louisiana

Louisiana has consistently ranked among the states with the worst health care outcomes in the country, primarily because we are a low-income state with high levels of poverty and a large percentage of working age adults without health insurance.

The Affordable Care Actresponds to Louisiana’s needs in a number of ways. It is already improving the lives of Louisiana residents. Here are some facts about how Louisiana residents have already benefited from the Act:

  • More than 53,000 young adults in our state between the ages of 18 and 26 gained coverage as a result of being able to remain on their parents’ insurance plans.
  • 275,000 Louisiana women now have access to free preventive services, including mammograms, bone density scans and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Seniors in Louisiana have saved more than $53.8 million on prescription drug coverage.
  • More than 60,000 small businesses in Louisiana are eligible for tax credits to make health coverage for their employees more affordable.
  • About 360,000 working adults in Louisiana will be covered by the expansion of Medicaid, reducing emergency room use and eliminating the uncompensated care that is draining resources from our hospitals, doctors and other providers.
  • The national deficit will be reduced by over $1 trillion over 20 years, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.

Governor Jindal’s politically motivated obstructionism will deny Louisiana families and businesses the full benefits of the Act that citizens in other states will derive.

Email Meet the Press host David Gregory, calling on him to ask Governor Jindal directly: “Why do you insist on relegating the people of his state to second class citizens status through your refusal to participate in key elements of this law?”

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Originally published: June 30, 2012