LA Lawmakers Advance Medicaid Expansion Financing Tool

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A proposal to help pay for Louisiana to expand its Medicaid program if its next governor is interested continues to zip through the Legislature.

         The Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved the proposal by Republican House Speaker Chuck Kleckley without objection Wednesday. The House already has agreed to the legislation, which heads to the full Senate for debate.

         Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal health care law, and lawmakers have repeatedly rejected expansion proposals.

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         But if the next governor, to be elected this fall, wants to tap into billions of available federal dollars for an expansion, Kleckley's legislation would offer financing to draw down the cash. Hospitals would pool their money to help pay Louisiana's share of the cost.

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