- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sen. Mary Landrieu cried foul Tuesday over a Louisiana state Senate panel’s decision last week to reject a measure that would have allowed state voters to say whether they want to expand Medicaid coverage under the health care law.

The Louisiana Democrat’s re-election campaign blasted out a fundraising email to supporters that labeled the vote a “lost opportunity” that kowtows to the anti-Obamacare wishes of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and deep-pocketed donors.

“Maybe the out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers and their secretly funded TV ads this month intimidated the legislators who voted no,” Mrs. Landrieu said in the message. “But thousands of fellow supporters weren’t intimidated — they joined me to make our voices heard in support of doing what is right.”

Mr. Jindal has thwarted efforts to implement key pillars of Obamacare in his state. The high-profile governor has also released a health care reform package of his own that offers more flexibility to the states.

Calling on the grassroots to donate to her campaign and “fight back” after last week’s vote, Mrs. Landrieu said expanding Medicaid coverage to those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level is the right thing to do.

“If the people had overridden Governor Jindal’s political ambitions and accepted this expansion, Louisianians would have been able to use $16 billion of our own money to help generate $1.8 billion in economic activity and create 15,600 jobs in 2016 alone,” she said.

Through a spokesman, Mr. Jindal on Tuesday said Mrs. Landrieu’s vote for Obamacare “cost Louisiana jobs, increased healthcare costs, and forced families to lose their healthcare plans.”

“But, Senator Landrieu is not content with the damage she’s already inflicted on our healthcare system,” he added. “Senator Landrieu now wants to force Louisiana to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which will cost taxpayers billions and move up to 248,000 individuals off private insurance and into a government program.”

The GOP has targeted Mrs. Landrieu as part of its bid to retake control of the Senate, putting muscle behind Rep. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, as their best hope to unseat the senior senator who has served since 1997.