Republicans looking to boost one of their incumbents, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, are making a calculation that they can tarnish his Democratic opponent by attacking him for supporting a policy that many Georgians appear to favor.
The Republican Governors Association released its first ad in the Georgia gubernatorial race Thursday, hitting state Sen. Jason Carter for supporting an expansion of Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the more than $500,000 ad buy will run statewide.
“We know Obamacare is making health care coverage more expensive," the ad's narrator says. "Costing us jobs. And forcing people to pay for things they don’t want or need. So why would Jason Carter say expanding Obamacare 'should be on the table'? We don’t want more Obamacare."
Deal justified his decision to not accept the Medicaid expansion by arguing it would be too costly, though an estimated 650,000 low-income Georgians could have gained health coverage.
Polls have shown a majority of Georgians support expanding Medicaid, so the ad's choice of the term "Obamacare" instead of "Medicaid" may have been a deliberate one.
The association previously had used the same rhetoric to attack South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen for supporting the Medicaid expansion, even though several of the association's members, including Chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, decided to adopt the expansion in their states.