South Carolina Republican Suggests GOP Opposes Medicaid Expansion Because Obama Is Black

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"South Carolina Republican Suggests GOP Opposes Medicaid Expansion Because Obama Is Black"

Confederate flag flying on grounds of South Carolina's state capitol

On Tuesday, the South Carolina House rejected extra Obamacare funding for the state’s Medicaid program. One Republican legislator offered a novel reason for the Republican majority’s decision: the President’s race.

State Rep. Kris Crawford’s comments came during the early stages of the state Medicaid debate in late January. Crawford suggested that it was politically beneficial for Republicans (who run a Statehouse that flew the Confederate flag in front of it as recently as December 2011) to oppose any political initiatives spearheaded by a black man:

Rep. Kris Crawford, a Republican from Florence and also an emergency room doctor, supports the expansion but expects the Republican caucus to vote as a block against the Medicaid expansion.

“The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party,” Crawford said.

South Carolina’s voter ID law was blocked last year by the Department of Justice on grounds that it violated the Voting Rights Act. The author of the law admitted to receiving, and responding positively to, racist emails in support of the law.

Governor Nikki Haley’s (R) steadfast opposition to the Medicaid expansion is becoming increasingly lonely; a wave of Republican governors have recently accepted federal assistance in providing health care for their poor citizens. South Carolina hospitals, who strongly support the expansion, have gone so far as to ask that their taxes be raised to pay for it.

(HT: David Graham.)

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