I rarely agree with Sen. David Vitter, but I usually know exactly what he’s doing. Lately, though, I’m confused about what he’s up to.

As part of his bid to become Louisiana’s governor and, doubtless, also because of his running feud with Gov. Bobby Jindal, Vitter is showing some love for the idea of accepting federal Medicaid expansion dollars. That would be the right thing to do for several reasons.

It would help our hospitals, and it would add $1.2 billion to the state’s GDP in 2015 alone. Most importantly, it would provide relief for over 200,000 people, the families of low-income workers. These are the people who are often working the hardest and receiving the least, living on the edge of bankruptcy should they become sick or get hurt. Can we all agree that supporting them represents the best in family values?

Now, here’s the confusing part. Medicaid expansion is an important piece of the Affordable Care Act. Vitter just filed a bill to fully repeal the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The senator isn’t a fan of the president’s health care policies and probably isn’t a fan of the president. So, what is Vitter to do, because he can’t have it both ways? Will he show his disdain for Jindal by supporting Medicaid expansion, or will he show his disdain for Obama by trying to repeal the ACA?

I’m hoping he chooses to go after the governor, because that way, the people of Louisiana might win. If, on the other hand, he chooses to focus on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it’s just more wasting of Congress’ time and taxpayer money.

Linda Kocher


New Orleans