Apr 22, 2014 5:23 PM by KRISTEN HOLLOWAY

Efforts to Expand Access to Affordable Health Care

A media conference was held at LCG today to discuss efforts to expand access to affordable health care.

This expansion would provide health coverage for 240,000 Louisianians who work 40-50 hours a week. Legislators are calling it the "Jindal Gap" where working professionals make too little to qualify for assistance and too much to qualify for Louisiana's current medicaid.

Vicki Cormier a personal care service worker, works 40-50 hours a week but doesn't have insurance.

"I make to much for the medical card but not enough for the insurance," said Cormier. "If I was to apply for insurance I would have to pay at least $400-500 a month and I can't afford that."

After a bad cold brought her to the emergency room, Cormier says its difficult being stuck the gap.

"Sometimes I do need to go to the doctor because I am hurting a lot but I just can't afford it, actually I have a bill now for $1400 and that's just for a cold I had," said Cormier.

What does this Medicaid expansion mean for someone like cormier? She will be able to visit a doctor rather than have to go the emergency room and rack up expensive bills.

"There will be greater amounts of federal dollars that will come which will amount to more services and greater access, that's what expansion is all about," said Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux.

Boudreaux who organized Tuesdays information session says he wants people to be able to vote on the expansion in November.

"Empower the people to decide and guess what when you allow people to vote when it doesn't become favorable to them, we accept that but when one individual decide the faith of hundreds and thousands of people that's just not right," said Boudreaux.

The press conference on Tuesday comes a day before a senate committee is set to take up Senate Bill 96, which would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment to expand the program.



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