LOUISIANA -- To vote for Medicaid expansion or not.
That's the question that Senate Bill 96 offers.
The bill is authored by Democratic Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa.
It would place a constutional amendment on the November 4th ballot.
If passed, Louisiana voters would choose whether to accept $16 billion in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Bobby Jindal said he's against the expansion.
"The more people who have experienced Obamacare, the more they've seen their problems thus far," Jindal said. "They've seen premiums go up. They can't keep their health care plan. They can't keep their doctors."
The expansion would bring Medicaid coverage to all those in the state at 138% of the federal poverty rate or below.
According to Medicaid.gov's 2014 Poverty Guidelines, here are the financial requirements to qualify for coverage under the expansion:
Family of 1: $1,312.88 or less monthly and $15,754 or less annually.
Family of 2: $1,769.63 or less monthly or $21,235.50 or less annually.
Family of 3: $2,226.38 or less monthly or $26,716.50 or less annually.
Family of 4: $2,683.13 or less monthly or $32,197.50 or less annually.
Family of 5: $3,139.88 or less monthly or $37,768.50 or less annually.
Family of 6: $3,596.63 or less monthly or $43,159.50 or less annually.
Family of 7: $4,053.38 or less monthly or $48,640.50 or less annually.
Family of 8: $4,510.13 or less monthly or $54,121.50 or less annually.
Jindal said the expansion comes with a cost.
"Cost our taxpayers up to $1.7 billion over 10 years. For every uninsured person they will try to cover under that expansion, over one person would lose their private coverage. That makes no sense," he said.
Jindal said instead of more Medicaid, the state should stick with private companies helping to manage public hospitals like University Health Conway in Monroe.
"We had to act quickly because the federal government cut our Medicaid funding. It shows that it's so important we have state solutions, not a one-size-fits-all pitch coming out of D.C," Jindal said.
SB 96 argues the decision on Medicaid expansion, whether right or wrong for the state, should come to a vote of the people.
The bill has been read twice already and has been sent to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare.
It needs to be approved by the committee, then the Senate, then the House before it can be placed on the November ballot.