Two former Louisiana healthcare secretaries pushed Friday for expanding Medicaid in the state to cover thousands of uninsured residents, pitting them against Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
David Hood was secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals under Republican former Gov. Mike Foster. Fred Cerise was DHH secretary under Democratic former Gov. Kathleen Blanco. The two men were featured in a newspaper ad published in The (Baton Rouge) Advocate newspaper calling the Medicaid expansion a good deal for Louisiana.
"Medicaid expansion offers a path to regular access to healthcare for working adults," the ad says.
Hood and Cerise said the inclusion of up to 400,000 uninsured people in the government-run insurance program would improve people's health, be a good financial deal for the state and help Louisiana's healthcare delivery system.
Jindal opposes the expansion, calling it an improper growth of a costly and inefficient government entitlement program that weakens the private insurance market. The federal government would fully cover the costs of new patients' healthcare during the first couple years, then its share would gradually decline to 90 percent.