Medicaid expansion up for consideration by lawmakers
BATON ROUGE - State senators have refused to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program so the working poor could get government-funded health insurance.
The Senate health care committee voted 5-3 Wednesday against coverage expansion legislation proposed by Bogalusa Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat.
A House committee was considering a similar proposal, though it faces strong opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal and other Republican leaders.
Supporters of the expansion hoped the state's dire financial troubles and the offer of billions of federal health care dollars could send more votes their way after failing to gain passage in previous years.
Backers of Medicaid expansion say health coverage would be extended to nearly 300,000 people. Opponents say the increased coverage would be too costly for Louisiana and the federal government and would expand a broken government-run health system.