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Senator Mary Landrieu (D. LA) is just calling it like she sees it:

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday accused Gov. Bobby Jindal of refusing billions of federal funds that would help uninsured Louisianans get access to health care because of his ambitions to run for higher office. "He just seems adamant about putting his political future ahead of the economic interest of the people of Louisiana," Landrieu said during a conference call advocating that Louisiana embrace the Medicaid expansion envisioned in the federal health law.

Jindal has denied that he is laying a foundation to run for president, although since the November elections he's taken a prominent role in attempting to reshape the image of the national Republican party.

On the program, Jindal also criticized the inflexibility of the Medicaid program, saying that it needs to be changed before it grows. The federal health law calls for states to expand Medicaid to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty law in order to provide health insurance to the poor.

Landrieu, a Democrat, challenged that assessment, saying the program is flexible. "He is hiding behind this cry for flexibility to blunt what he is actually doing," she said. "It is really disturbing." - The Times-Picayune, 2/26/13

Now I may not be the biggest fan of Landrieu but I love seeing her duke it out with Jindal who yes, is denying the good people of Louisiana more access to Medicaid because he has his eyes set on the White House.  He is blocking the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Health Care Act so he can appeal to the Tea Party base and because Jindal was the one who originally went to Landrieu for more Medicaid funding for Louisiana during the health care reform debate:
She called it a "bipartisan effort." Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, made "multiple requests" for the funding and worked with the senator's office for more than a year to obtain it, she said.

In an op-ed piece for the Times-Picayune, John Maginnis wrote that Landrieu "got for Louisiana was only what it deserved, a temporary Medicaid rate adjustment so that the state would not be penalized for its temporary hurricane recovery economy." He goes on to write, "It was hardly her idea but rather Gov. Bobby Jindal's No. 1 ask to the congressional delegation, of which Landrieu had the only clout." - USA Today, 2/4/10

Jindal may not be the one running for Senate but he is doing everything he can to help the GOP defeat Landrieu so he can win the 2016 GOP nominee.  While he's doing that, Jindal is screwing over more than 400,000 people in Louisiana who are eligible for Medicaid.  To her credit, Landireu has been doing an excellent job making the argument for Medicaid expansion in Louisiana:

Landrieu and her team emphasized the effect uninsured citizens have on the state economy. Executive Director of Families USA: the National Organization for Healthcare Consumers Ron Pollack opened up the conference. Pollack emphasized how much money consumers would save if Louisiana were to participate in the program.

“If Louisiana opts into the Medicaid expansion, [we will see] very significant economic benefits for the state,” said Pollack. Over 422,000 Louisiana residents that are currently uninsured would receive coverage if Louisiana were to accept  government funding for Medicaid.

Under the existing ten year plan, the feds will cover 100 percent of all Medicaid costs in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2017, Louisiana will incur five percent of the burden, and eventually the state will cover ten percent of the total Medicaid costs.

“Traditional Medicaid programs in Louisiana has been provided with the federal government offering 61 cents out of every federal matching dollar,” Pollack went on, “This is very substantial. In the year 2016 alone, the federal government will be providing approximately 1.1 billion dollars in funds to the state’s Medicaid program." - NOLA Defender, 2/26/13

Landrieu has labeled Jindal the same label his GOP buddies in the House are called; an obstructionist:

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu says Gov. Bobby Jindal's refusal to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program is tied to his presidential ambitions at the expense of benefits for his home state.

The Democratic senator Tuesday accused the Republican governor of obstructionism.

Landrieu said Jindal seems adamant about putting his political future ahead of the economic interests of the people of Louisiana. - Shreveport Times, 2/26/13

Jindal's obstructionism and Presidential aspects have hurt him royally and helped Landrieu in the polls:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, to announce an agreement between the state of Louisiana and BP PLC, in which BP will provide funding for seafood safety and testing, coastal restoration efforts and tourism
When PPP last polled Louisiana in 2010, Bobby Jindal was one of the most popular Governors in the country. 58% of voters approved of the job he was doing to just 34% who disapproved. Over the last two and a half years though there's been a massive downward shift in Jindal's popularity, and he is now one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Just 37% of voters now think he's doing a good job to 57% who are unhappy with him.

The decline in Jindal's popularity cuts across party lines. Where he was at 81/13 with Republicans in August 2010, now it's 59/35. Where he was at 67/22 with independents back then, now he's at 41/54. And what was a higher than normal amount of crossover support from Democrats at 33/58 is now 15/78. There was a time when Jindal probably would have been seen as a slam dunk candidate for Republicans against Mary Landrieu in 2014. But now he actually trails Landrieu 49/41 in a hypothetical match up.

Trailing Landrieu hardly puts Jindal alone among Louisiana Republicans. She leads all seven we tested against her, by margins ranging from 3 to 12 points. Landrieu has a narrowly positive approval rating with 47% of voters giving her good marks to 45% who disapprove. That's up from 41/53 in August of 2010...her numbers are seeing some recovery from their post Obamacare decline. - PPP, 2/13/13
Yep, Republicans kept on clamoring about how Landrieu's vote for Obamacare was going to cost her big in 2014.  Now it seems like her vote has helped her and Jindal's arrogance is helping her and costing him.  Of course 2014 is still a while away and the GOP has Landrieu as a top target.  If you want to donate to her re-election campaign as a way of fighting back against Bobby Jindal, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:56 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Louisiana Kossacks.

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