Sen. Landrieu pushing to limit coastal fund use _lowres

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu speaks to the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday, April 7, 2014. Landrieu dodged questions about state legislation seeking to undo a lawsuit filed by a south Louisiana levee board against oil and gas companies. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

While she was visiting Baton Rouge, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she was meeting with state lawmakers to encourage them to support the expansion of Louisiana’s Medicaid program.

Several bills proposed in the current legislative session would allow as many as 252,000 uninsured Louisiana residents to get free, government-funded health insurance through the Medicaid expansion allowed under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Legislature rejected an expansion of Louisiana’s Medicaid program last year. The proposal is expected to be considered on April 23 in a Senate committee.

Landrieu, a Democrat, said Monday that she was urging individual lawmakers to vote for the Medicaid expansion this year.

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes expansion as too costly for Louisiana. He says it would improperly add people to a poorly-operated government program.