Medicaid Expansion Up For Consideration By Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Lawmakers are again considering proposals to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program, to give government-funded health insurance to the working poor.

         The House and Senate health committees have scheduled Wednesday hearings on the coverage expansion legislation.

         Both panels have rejected the idea in previous years amid strong opposition to Medicaid expansion and the federal health care overhaul from Gov. Bobby Jindal and other Republican leaders.

         But supporters of the expansion hope the state's dire financial troubles and the offer of billions of federal health care dollars could send more votes their way.

         Backers of Medicaid expansion say health coverage would be extended to 240,000 people, giving people better care. Opponents say the increased coverage would be too costly for Louisiana and the federal government and would expand a broken government-run health system.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte



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