But in an interview today, Landrieu vowed to campaign aggressively against GOP foe Bill Cassidy’s opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the state, offered a spirited defense of the law — while acknowledging it has some problems — and even insisted he’d be at a “disadvantage” over the issue.
This week a state legislative committee in Louisiana is expected to consider a measure that would put a constitutional amendment before the voters this fall that, if approved, would direct the state to accept $16 billion in Medicaid money to cover 242,000 people. Even if the ballot measure is not green-lighted by the legislature, Landrieu said she will continue to press the issue — and hit Rep. Cassidy over it.
“That would be a real setback for the people of Louisiana, many of whom are working 30, 40, 50 hours a week but find themselves caught in the Jindal gap because the state refuses to expand health care options to the working poor at little to no expense,” Landrieu told me, referring to Governor Bobby Jindal’s opposition to the expansion.
“This issue is not going away — it will become an issue in the 2015 governor’s race,” she added. “Cassidy has wrapped himself up with Jindal. The question is whether people who work full time or part time in the U.S. should have access to quality and affordable health care.”
It’s very rare that something comes out of Mary Landrieu’s mouth with which I agree wholeheartedly, but here’s one example. The focus on working poor is spot on. Incumbents get a lot of cross over votes because they convince wobblers registered with the other party that they will bring home the pork. Skipping Medicaid expansion is leaving a big slab of bacon in Uncle Sugar’s smokehouse, so that needs to be hung around Cassidy’s neck. The whole thing is a pleasant surprise.