Skip to main content

Sen. Mary Landrieu introducing the Fixing America's Inequities with Revenues (FAIR) Act - to ensure all energy producing states receive a fair share of the revenues they help produce with Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Medicaid expansion could save Sen. Mary Landrieu's seat.
Democrats in Louisiana and Montana are smartly looking to Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives to try to help drive turnout in November's elections. The efforts are couched as a way to shore up the re-election campaigns of Sen. Mary Landrieu and recently appointed John Walsh, but could have real impact down ballot, if done right.
Activist groups and state lawmakers are working to get Obamacare's Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Louisiana and Montana, where they have vulnerable candidates and GOP officials have refused to adopt the provision.

"Turnout is the biggest challenge that Democrats face," one Democratic operative told TPM. "There are a variety of ways that you can meet your turnout goals, and one of them is certainly ballot initiatives. Medicaid expansion really could be a powerful tool to turn voters out."

The first trick is getting the question on the ballot. In Montana, activists are required to gather a little more than 24,000 signatures by June 20. The order is taller in Louisiana: getting the GOP-controlled legislature to approve it. Its odds probably aren't great, local reporters say, but a few GOP lawmakers did express an openness to the expansion last year. The bill has already been introduced in the state Senate by a Democrat. [...]

It's not likely to be a silver bullet for saving the Senate, but it could make a difference in what are expected to be tight races. If voters who ordinarily would skip the midterms instead come out because they want to advance Obama's most important domestic achievement, that can only benefit Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (LA) and John Walsh (MT).

Medicaid expansion is very popular, particularly among the people Democrats need to get turned out: "63 percent of Louisianans favored Medicaid expansion and, generally across the South, support was higher in key Democratic groups: 85 percent of blacks, 66 percent of women and 66 percent of voters ages 18 to 24. Where putting it on the ballot could also really help—if state Democrats are organized enough—is in the legislative races in these states. Keeping the U.S. Senate Democratic is critical, but so is building Democratic state legislatures.

There are plenty of natural allies for Democrats at the state and local level for this. The number one ally: the medical community and in particular hospitals who see greater risks and costs for having to treat the uninsured who fall into the Medicaid gap. That risk goes beyond just the uninsured, though, because if a local hospital closes because of lack of Medicaid funding, everyone in the community suffers. This is a potent economic issue, one that Democratic candidates at every level should be running on.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Louisiana Kossacks and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:04:59 AM PST

  •  Even when a hospital stays open but closes (5+ / 0-)

    its emergency room, the entire community suffers. This has been going on for decades.

    Refusing Medicaid expansion means that Republicans want Lousianans to pay taxes to support Medicaid in Blue states and get nothing in return.

    Republicans want the poor not to be treated for communicable diseases, which is a public health hazard for all.

    Republicans want people to go bankrupt, to become permanently disabled, to become long-term burdens on the community, or to die.

    Study found Medicaid expansion improved health, saved lives

    Three states, in very different regions of the country, had expanded the health-care program on their own in the early 2000s, covering so called "childless adults" excluded everywhere else…

    Sommers and two colleagues published their study in 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It showed significant improvements in health, more visits to doctors and reductions in mortality in the study group of Arizona, New York and Maine.

    Looking at 19- to 64-year-olds over the five years before the three states expanded Medicaid and the five years after, the study group comprised about 500,000 new enrollees, Sommers said.

    "Overall, the decline in mortality amounted to about 2,800 deaths prevented per year in these states," Sommers said. "For every 176 adults that gained coverage through Medicaid, our study identified a decline of one death per year."

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 04:04:43 PM PST

  •  I know (0+ / 0-)

    the Medicaid expansion carried a GOP rep to victory recently in LA. Whether that will translate to the Senate race I don't know. Mary has been down before and managed to win. Maybe she can continue to be lucky.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:23:30 PM PST

  •  DOUBTFUL.... (0+ / 0-)

    again, it's wayyy late really.

    it's all about our feeble economy and the epic, disastrous lack of progress.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:28:12 PM PST

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree the lack of progress if very problematic but darn the GOP was supposedly elected to handle that in 2010 and they did nothing about it.

      Honestly I think people have lost faith that anybody is going to do anything about it. Might as well vote on social issues or Obamacare or whatever else they want to vote on because there's no economic solutions coming from either party at this time that I see.

      Nathan Deal thinks that passing an Arizona type anti-gay law is going to solve our economic problems. I guess he is thinking that God will rain manna down from heaven if they pass it.

      It's the policy stupid

      by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:46:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  2010.... (0+ / 0-)

        wasn't that when the tax cuts for the wealthy class were made permament?

        I get your point, but I'm not voting on social issues-- because those don't pay the mortgage.

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:57:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope he tries to pass Arizona type anti-gay law. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj, lionfish3126, Velvetus

        Arizona is looking horrible and GOP pols are already walking it back, including state senators who supported that shit.  If Nathan Deal pushes that through it will make him look like a giant ass and people will boot him out of office for sure.  If it's really the economy and GA's economy isn't doing that well they'll be wondering first why the hell he would bother and second they'll be pissed once GA gets a black eye and starts losing really needed tourism money because of some stupid anti-gay law.  Coupled with the loss of jobs and money as a result of his refusal to expand Medicaid and he'll be toast.  But the Dems have to make the case.  Elect us and Medicaid will be expanded, jobs won't be lost, hospitals won't be shuttered and time won't be wasted on stupid anti-gay laws which wil only hurt the state economy more.  

        these asshole GOP governors are only bringing about their own demise that much quicker.  GA, AZ and TX are the next states to flip.  If the GOP loses those states they're finished as a national party for a long time.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:06:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure he will get booted out for signing it. But you are right that the economic problems will come from signing it. A friend of mine has a husband who is a talent agent and says they are making TV shows here and movies. Hollywood will pull up stakes in a NY minute if Deal is stupid enough to sign that.

          However, that being said Deal has a huge problem with his base. You have to remember he BARELY squeaked by in the primaries because everyone seems him as corrupt (which he is). So if he does not sign it he could lose in the GOP gubernatorial primary or possibly the election if he makes it through the primary because of evangelicals sitting home. They GOP puts themselves in this continual stupid bind of their OWN making. If he votoes the legislation, it's not like he's going to get any more democrats to vote for him because they all dislike him. So maybe he thinks there might be enough independent evangelicals to carry the day if he signs it.

          The problem with trying to get Medicaid expanded is that the voters think that it's not going to help them only "that other person". Morehouse Medical college and doctors and other people have been bending Deal's ear with the exact same thing you are saying but he won't budge. H*ll, even the wacked out legislature approved the expansion I believe. He absolutely cares nothing for the people of the state. He only cares about his cronies and he could be George W. Bush of Georgia. I rue the day this guy came into office. He has done NOTHING for the state. Our UE is higher than the national average.

          It's the policy stupid

          by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:42:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It might not hurt him. (0+ / 0-)

          He has a primary opponent. He's apparently more concerned about that than anything else it seems. Here in GA all the Republicans are trying to prove how far right they are to the point of screaming about evolution being lies straight from the pits of hell.

          Definitely would lose jobs but that might not show up until after the election. Movies and TV shows that are made here would be pulling up stakes.

          As far as Medicaid, a lot of people have been lobbying him like doctors etc. to no avali because once again he's only worried about his own hide. And besides people don't think that it will help them. They only think it will help "those other people".

          Honestly I know the numbers for Georgia but I will be SHOCKED if it turns blue before 2024.

          It's the policy stupid

          by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:49:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It may help him with primary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md, Velvetus

            but the minute he signs that bill the reaction will be swift and fierce.  He'll get blown out by a Carter who will tug on voters memory of a simpler and better time.  If Elder Carter campaigns all the better.  Medicaid won't help Deal but it will drive the AA voters out for the Dems and in an off year election that could be the difference between Sen Nunn and Gov Carter and Sen Broun and Gov Deal.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:00:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Democratic control of the Senate (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't in any danger. Have you heard the Republican candidates for those seats? They are trying to out crazy one another. Even I'm not jaded enough to believe that a majority of voters in the various races will support that kind of batshittery. I just don't believe it.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 05:31:56 PM PST

  •  I think running solidly on the ACA should keep (0+ / 0-)

    Landrieu's seat safe.  She was behind it from day one and if she will just stay in that frame of mind and run on it then she has no way to lose.  The ACA is becoming more and more popular and by November will easily be issue number one.  People will support any of those who continue to fight for it.

    •  Landrieu is safer than many (0+ / 0-)

      The fact that she'll be running against a guy who supported exchanges will all but blunt any possibility of GOP attacks anyway.  However, she's at least made efforts to show she wants to improve healthcare.  LA is a state that desperately needs it and with their refusal of Medicaid there are/will be alot of voters who will be pissed at the GOP.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:08:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look to the Louisiana down ballot races (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lionfish3126, JamieG from Md

    If the Louisiana legislature stymies a Medicaid Expansion Initiative, why not target the state level races?  How about making mean-spirited Republicans tale on the face of the Grinch Who Stole Your Health Insurance?  Going after the actual guys and gals who proudly deprive the working poor from health services would, I think, be a better voter stimulant that convincing folks that their lives would be better if they came out for Landrieu.  It would probably be a whole lot cheaper to throw some money into strategic state races than to toss money into the statewide Senate race.  Landrieu could end up riding the coattails of a wave of voters who turn out to punish the Medicaid Grinches.  Might even restore some sanity in the Louisiana legislature.

    All right, then, I'll go to hell. - Mark Twain

    by seethruit on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:10:09 PM PST

  •  Healthcare (0+ / 0-)

    I don't give a Rats A** about this anymore... too much ado about nothing. As an entertainer, I'm speaking to everyone that I can, I have had this plan for a long time and I like it. I wish they would talk about how to get more money in my pocket, I'm reading up on all who are running for office..WISDOM IS TOO HIGH FOR A FOOL...

  •  Florida needs to do likewise. (0+ / 0-)

    Boost the turnout for Crist, and push him into a landslide over Rick Scott who refused expansion.  If the expansion initiative passes, it's a win; if Crist is elected, it's a win.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site