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Jindal blasts Obama’s ‘Mafia-style’ tactics to expand Medicaid

Jindal blasts Obama’s ‘Mafia-style’ tactics to expand Medicaid
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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has joined the fray of Republicans siding with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in his battle with Obama over Medicaid spending.

Scott filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration this week for allegedly threatening to withhold more than $2 billion in hospital money if Florida refuses to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.  

“I'd call that kind of approach Mafia-style tactics, but to do so would be an insult to TV mob boss Tony Soprano,” Jindal wrote in an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel.

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The Louisiana governor is now urging Congress to take action — “regardless of the avenue” — to protect other states from being forced into a deal to accept the expansion in exchange for other federal grants.

“The citizens of Florida, and other states, deserve more than to have their health-care systems turned upside-down just because Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama to campaign for Biden in Florida Jaime Harrison on Lindsey Graham postponing debate: 'He's on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home' Quinnipiac poll reports Biden leading Trump by 8 points in Pennsylvania MORE cannot countenance the idea of anyone opposing his unpopular health-care law,” Jindal, a potential 2016 candidate, added.

Jindal’s strong defense of the Florida lawsuit comes shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also declared that he “commends” Scott’s legal action.

Jindal, Abbott and Scott are among the staunchest opponents of Medicaid expansion among the 21 states that have chosen not to do so.

All three have argued that the administration's funding threat is a clear violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 decision to strike down mandatory expansion of Medicaid.

Since then, a total of 29 states have expanded Medicaid, including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) earlier this week.

Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has said Florida was not targeted because it did not expand Medicaid and that other states were issued the same instructions about hospital funding.

"The decision to expand Medicaid, or not, is a state decision," he wrote in a statement Friday. "We will work with Florida and each state that has an uncompensated care pool regardless of its Medicaid expansion status."

- This post was updated at 12:19 p.m.