Concord - New Hampshire Republicans have been racing to the far right fringe of their Party for years. Now they are even too conservative for one of the country's most conservative Republican Governor's: Chris Christie. Not only did Republicans bow to Tea Party pressure and refuse to compromise on Medicaid Expansion, but they have actively attacked the idea of expanding health insurance coverage to thousands of New Hampshire working families. In an op-ed, one of Christie's campaign staffers, now working in New Hampshire, led the charge against the Medicaid Expansion his former boss championed. WMUR reports, "And then there is the new executive director of the state Republican Party, who is from Christie-world, but wrote in the Union Leader today that, 'Hassan has also championed Obamacare’s reckless expansion of Medicaid.'"
The full article is below.
WMUR: Analysis: Christie's first problem in N.H. might be Medicaid expansion
Published 5:35 PM EST Nov 26, 2013
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. —Polls this year have shown New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie either the leading Republican candidate or tied for the top spot in the 2016 New Hampshire primary. After soundly winning re-election earlier this month, Christie hasn't been shy about potentially launching a presidential run.
When Christie holds his first town hall meeting he will likely have story to tell about himself and his time as governor. But when he opens himself up for questions, conservatives might have a lot of questions for him when it comes to his positions on environmental and gun legislation or even his embrace of President Barack Obama days before the Democrat was re-elected.
But the more pressing issue for Christie was his full on endorsement of Medicaid expansion. In February Christie fully embraced Medicaid expansion in his state, opening up free health insurance to another 104,000 low income people in his state.
In fact, his position is to the left of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. Before talks were cut-off last week, Hassan was backing a plan that would eventually put those 58,000 people eligible under expansion into a private health insurance plan.
Christie is one of eight Republican governors who have expanded Medicaid under the contours of the Affordable Care Act. The only other governor who might run for president, though, is Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire is a complicated topic for the state Republican party. In the state Senate 10 of the 13 Republicans voted for an expansion plan. In the House most Republicans voted against it. There are also conservatives, who in general think it is a bad idea and celebrated that talks broke down.
And then there is the new executive director of the state Republican Party, who is from Christie-world, but wrote in the Union Leader today that, "Hassan has also championed Obamacare’s reckless expansion of Medicaid."
This could also emerge to be a larger topic of debate during the 2016 Republican primary. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, another potential Republican candidate, has criticized Christie for expanding Medicaid.
And unlike the one-time embrace of Obama, this issue isn't in the past and isn't going away.
Those state Senate Republicans who voted for a plan last week have pledged to bring it up again in January. That could be in time for Christie's first trip to the state.