BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The fallout from the near-closure of the emergency room at Baton Rouge General Mid-City Hospital continued Tuesday morning, as Louisiana Democrats blasted Gov. Bobby Jindal over his refusal to accept federal Medicaid dollars.
State senators and representatives gathered at a pharmacy right across the street from the hospital. The delegation blamed the governor directly for causing the hospital's emergency room to nearly close last week.
They said Jindal's privatization of state hospitals and refusal to accept the Medicaid money are political moves that hurt Louisianians.
"You think what's going on in Ferguson is something?" asked Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans). "What we should be doing is standing outside the Mansion every day until he signs that letter. That's what we should be doing, and if anybody's ready to do that, I'm certainly willing to commit the time."
Rep. Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) echoed Peterson's concerns.
"The Governor likes to go to Iowa so much, let's do what Iowa did. He loves to go to Michigan, let's do what Michigan did. He loves New Hampshire, let's do what New Hampshire did and accept the Medicaid expansion dollars and save healthcare in our communities," James said.
Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, Rep. Regina Barrow, Rep. Alfred Williams and Rep. Pat Smith - all Baton Rouge Democrats - spoke as well.
The delegation also called out Congressman Bill Cassidy for opposing Medicare expansion in the state, and demanded to know where the Jindal administration found the $18 million used to bail out the Baton Rouge General.