The Republican Governor’s Association released an ad Monday, attacking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen for backing Medicaid expansion in his state of South Carolina.
The spot argued Medicaid expansion is bad simply because it’s Obamacare.
“Remember this guy Sheheen? Well first Sheheen supported much of Obamacare, but then he refused to support the law suit to stop it,” says the voice-over in the ad. “Now Vincent Sheheen wants to use Obamacare for a $2 billion expansion of Medicaid in South Carolina.”
The ad comes despite the chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, expanding Medicaid in his own state last year.
“Expanding Medicaid will ensure New Jersey taxpayers that will see their dollars maximized. Federal funding will cover 100% of the costs of this expansion for the first three years and then leveling to 90% in 2020,” said Christie during his annual budget address in 2013. “Let me be clear, refusing these federal dollars does not mean that they won’t be spent. It just means that they will be used to expand health care access in New York, Connecticut, Ohio or somewhere else.”
Sheheen called attention to this detail in a letter directed to Christie.
“You and I have the same position on this issue-keep our own federal tax dollars working for the people of our states. Then today, the Republican Governors Association, which you Chair, launched attack ads against me for taking the same position that you and seven other GOP Governors have taken on Medicaid expansion,” read Sheheen’s letter.
The note continued, “The RGA ad claims that the choice to bring our tax dollars back in-state would hurt South Carolina. So, I ask you: How many jobs has New Jersey lost as a result of your decision to accept your Medicaid dollars? How many New Jersey businesses have been harmed by your choice to put your state’s tax dollars to work back at home? And how much has this expansion cost the taxpayers of New Jersey?”
The RGA responded to Sheheen in a statement issued Monday and stood by their latest video.
“Vincent Sheheen is an unapologetic supporter of ObamaCare. It’s no surprise he doesn’t like the RGA’s latest ad, because he knows what many South Carolinians already know: ObamaCare is a bad law and it’s costing families and businesses more of their hard earned money and jobs in the Palmetto State,” said Republican Governors Association Executive Director Phil Cox in a statement on Monday. “No amount of fake outrage from Vincent Sheheen will disguise his staunch support for ObamaCare.”
Chris Christie, along with seven other Republican governors have opted to support Obamacare and expand Medicaid, with several Republican governors expressing their willingness to expand Medicaid as well.
Among those considering an expansion is Florida Gov. Rick Scott who is up for re-election this fall and welcome Christie at several fundraisers in Florida in January.