The White House stepped up its effort Thursday night to shame more Republican governors into accepting an expansion of Medicaid rolls, calling on Florida and Louisiana to add more than 1 million uninsured residents under Obamacare.
"We should be about putting people over politics," said presidential adviser David Simas. "It is reckless that some governors are so determined to see that the health care law not succeed, that they have even refused to expand Medicaid coverage for millions upon millions of working families."
President Obama will fly Friday to both states, although his damage-control push for Obamacare isn't the only reason for the trip. In Louisiana, he'll visit the Port of New Orleans to call attention to the need to increase U.S. exports.
Recent studies have shown that the nation is falling behind the administration's goal of doubling exports by 2015. Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has opposed the Medicaid expansion, is expected to join the president for a tour of the port.
In Florida, Mr. Obama will attend Democratic fundraisers. It will be the third state he's visited this week where Republican governors and legislatures have decided against taking part in the Medicaid expansion; the president traveled to Texas earlier in the week.
A total of 25 states have blocked the administration's effort to cover more of the uninsured through Medicaid. The federal government is offering to pick up 100 percent of the tab for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.
Mr. Simas said the program would cover 848,000 people in Florida and about 265,000 in Louisiana.
"This is what people care about. When they get sick, they want to be covered," he said.
Under Obamacare, states have the option to expand Medicaid so that it's available to anyone with an income of 138 percent of the federal poverty line or less.
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