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Medicaid Hypocrisy: Desperate RGA Attack Ad Misfires in Louisiana

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Medicaid Hypocrisy: Desperate RGA Attack Ad Misfires in Louisiana

New Louisiana ad hits Democrat on Medicaid expansion

The problem? Republican Gov. candidates support expansion too

In a desperate attempt to change the dynamic in a corrosive Louisiana Republican primary, national Republicans have gone up on TV with an $1 million attack ad hitting Democrat John Bel Edwards over Medicaid expansion.

But the last-minute Republican Governors Association ad fails to note one thing: All 3 Republican candidates for governor support Medicaid expansion too.

The ad accuses Edwards of “writing the bill to expand Obamacare in Louisiana.” But Republicans David Vitter, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle have all indicated their interest in Medicaid expansion. On expansion, Sen. Vitter told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on video that “I’ve said since the very beginning of the campaign I would look at that and be open to it.” 

“The same national group that backed Bobby Jindal is doing no favors for the 3 Louisiana Republican candidates,” said Jared Leopold, Communications Director for the Democratic Governors Association. “All 4 major candidates in Louisiana support Medicaid expansion. This false attack ad is nothing more than a desperate attempt by national Republicans to respond to Senator Vitter’s sagging poll numbers.”  

The new ad comes as a surprise to political observers. The Republican Governors Association had committed on Oct. 2 to wait until after the primary to run ads. RGA spokesman Jon Thompson told Roll Call that “it is possible the RGA takes a look at becoming involved if it advances to a Republican versus Democrat runoff.”

However, just 5 days later, the RGA announced it was going on the air with the new ad.


David Vitter, Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne All Say that They Would Like to Accept the Federal Medicaid Dollars. According to the Times-Picayune, “The three Republicans—U.S. Sen David Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne—all say that they would like to accept the federal Medicaid dollars, but have more control over how the funding is used.” [Times-Picayune,4/4/15]

When Asked About Medicaid Expansion, Angelle Cited Arkansas’ Program as a Model that’s Worth Looking into. According to MyArkLaMiss, “When asked about Medicaid expansion, Angelle didn’t come out in support of it, but did cite Arkansas’ program as a model that’s worth looking into.” [MyArkLaMiss, 5/7/15]

Jay Dardenne Said One of the First Things He’ll Do, If Elected Governor is Call a Bipartisan Panel to Study Whether Louisiana Should Seek a Waiver from the Federal Government and Tap into Health Care Funding from the Affordable Care Act. According to The Advocate, “Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said one of the first things he’ll do, if elected governor this fall, is call a bipartisan panel to study whether Louisiana should seek a waiver from the federal government and tap into health care funding from the Affordable Care Act. […] He said that as long as it’s the ‘law of the land,’ Louisiana should examine the possibility of using it to the state’s advantage.” [Advocate, 4/15/15]