BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Supporters of Medicaid expansion rallied on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol on Wednesday, but the Senate's health committee voted to involuntarily defer the bill.
The vote was 6-2 to kill Senate Bill 96.
The debate in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee was on a bill that would put the decision in the hands of the people on whether or not Louisiana wants to participate in the Affordable Care Act, which is also referred to by some as Obamacare.
The description of the bill from the Louisiana State Legislature reads:
MEDICAID: Constitutional amendment to direct the Department of Health and Hospitals to offer health insurance with essential health benefits to every legal resident of Louisiana whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, and to allow the legislature to determine whether to continue the program when federal funding falls below 90% of the total program funding. (2/3-CA13s1(A)) (OR DECREASE GF EX See Note)
Governor Bobby Jindal opposed the expansion as being too costly for Louisiana. He says it would improperly add people to a poorly-operated government program.
Congressman Cedric Richmond, D-LA and former US Sen. John Breaux also testified.
Senate Bill 96 can be found at www.legis.la.gov
Look for more on this story in the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.