Viewpoint: April 5, 2013

The Louisiana Health Department released a report recently estimating the state could save as much as $368 million over 10 years and provide Medicaid coverage for as many as a half-million additional people through the Affordable Care Act.

But, Gov. Bobby Jindal has repeatedly said Louisiana will not participate in the expanded Medicaid program. The federal government is paying 100 percent of the program costs the first three years and states will pay for 10 percent by 2020.

Jindal said the program is too costly and is a huge expansion of federal power. But, there's a growing number of reluctant Republican governors who are now opting into Medicaid expansion, such as Florida's Rick Scott and New Jersey's Chris Christie, who says it was the smart thing to do for the fiscal and public health of his state.

We urge Governor Jindal to reconsider his position. After all, Louisiana taxpayers will be paying for the Affordable Care Act regardless. The hundreds of thousands of people in our state currently uninsured should have the opportunity to benefit from it.