Dear Gov. Jindal,
Please change your mind and accept the Medicaid expansion that would provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of citizens of Louisiana and which would also create much-needed jobs in the state. Whatever your ideological objections to the program, Louisiana stands to lose 1.566 billion dollars. That's billions lost to the state budget that is often in arrears and requires last minute cuts in programs and institutions that have already been cut to the bone.
Whatever may happen in nine years when the state has to pay 10% of the costs, you will be long gone from the scene, but citizens in Louisiana need health insurance right now. Without the Medicaid expansion, people in Louisiana will almost certainly die from treatable diseases and conditions because of the lack of health insurance, either because treatment was started too late, or because treatment was inadequate.
Whatever your intentions, on the surface it appears that you refuse the money for the sake of furthering your political ambitions on the national scene. Since you first assumed the office of governor in Louisiana, your extensive travels campaigning around the country for political purposes leave you little time in the state where you were elected. Isn't it time to pay attention to the needs of the people of the state?
You are a Catholic Christian, Gov. Jindal. Have you read the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church or listened to the words of Pope Francis about the poor and downtrodden? I simply cannot comprehend your decision not to accept the funds. A good many Republican governors have laid aside ideology and political ambitions and chosen to accept the Medicaid expansion for the sake of their poor and low income citizens. Why not you?
UPDATE FROM TPM:
Low income people want to obtain health insurance...
But in 25 states, that robust interest has a downside: Navigators are forced to tell more and more people that they probably won't be able to get covered because their states, all of which had a GOP-controlled legislative chamber or governor, have refused to expand Medicaid. Lynne Thorp, who is overseeing the University of South Florida's navigator program in that state, told TPM that about one in four people who contact her team fall into that Medicaid gap.Shameful.
"Those are hardest phone calls because it doesn't make any sense to them," Thorp said. "We have to explain that they fall into this gap where this program can't assist them."