MoveOn unveils TV ad in its health care battle

Show caption

Jindal again the aim of ad on Medicaid issue in Louisiana

MoveOn.org expanded its effort Monday to pressure Gov. Bobby Jindal into expanding the state Medicaid program, by launching a television ad spot in the Baton Rouge market.

The group played off the controversy it launched last week when it incorporated Louisiana’s tourism slogan “Pick Your Passion” as it criticized Jindal for refusing to expand Medicaid.

MoveOn rejected a “cease and desist” letter from Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who said it constituted a violation of the state’s trade service mark.

Dardenne said it detracted for tourism marketing and created confusion “that we are the ones calling on the governor to take that action.”

The first thing viewers will see in the ad spot is the billboard which states: “Louisiana! Pick Your Passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal is denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”

“Why are Louisiana Republicans trying to take down this billboard?” the TV ad opens.

“Maybe they don’t want you to know that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rejection of Medicaid expansion is costing the state $1.65 billion in federal funds and denying 242,000 Louisiana residents health care, the ad continues.

“We are proud about our music, our food, our history but it’s hard to be proud when you are denying our people health care they have already paid for. Call Gov. Jindal. Tell him to stop saying no to Medicaid.”

Jindal has rejected state participation in the federal Affordable Care Act provision under which the government’s health insurance program would be expanded to those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

That’s about $15,850 for an individual and about $32,500 for a family of four.

The federal government pays 100 percent of cost for the first three years and no less than 90 percent in the ensuing years.

Jindal has said it would cost the state too much money in the long run and it builds on a broken Medicaid system.

The five-figure media buy is being funded by MoveOn members, according to a news release from the group.

MoveOn describes itself as “a community of more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life who are using innovative technology to lead, participate in and win campaigns for progressive change.”

According to a MoveOn news release, members of the group called and stopped by Jindal’s office Monday to deliver the message: “My passion is health care for the 242,000 Louisianans to whom you are deny coverage.”

MoveOn.org Civic Action executive director Anna Galland said Dardenne tried to “silence MoveOn members with a baseless legal threat.”

There was no immediate response from Dardenne.