Continetti: Medicaid Issues Are 'Kryptonite to Republicans'

November 14, 2019

Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti argued Thursday that the issue of Medicaid could play a pivotal role in the Louisiana gubernatorial race, just as it did in Governor Matt Bevin's (R.) defeat in Kentucky.

Continetti said during an appearance on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily that incumbent governor John Bel Edwards (D.) has been blasting his opponent, Republican Eddie Rispone, over the issue of Medicaid expansion. Continetti called the issue "kryptonite" to Republicans.

"Bel Edwards is an incumbent, he is pro-life. He is not where Beto O'Rourke is on guns—far, far from it," Continetti said. "And the sleeper issue here is Medicaid. He expanded Medicaid. He is saying Rispone is going to freeze Medicaid or eliminate it altogether. Medicaid is kryptonite to Republicans once it's been introduced."

Rispone has promised to freeze enrollment in Medicaid expansion in order to root out waste in the program. Edwards criticized this proposal as a de facto repeal of the program.

Continetti said Republicans must come to terms with the fact that safety-net programs, such as Medicaid expansion, are "not going anywhere."

"I think conservatives thought for a long time once you introduce an entitlement, it is almost impossible to get rid of it," he said. "That's one reason conservatives spent so much energy trying to stop Obamacare."

"In places like Kentucky, Louisiana where it has been introduced, Republicans have to come to grips with the fact that the safety net is not going anywhere," he added.

In Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear narrowly defeated Bevin in a state President Donald Trump won by almost 30 points in 2016. Prior to his electoral loss, Bevin had proposed a plan that would have imposed work requirements on some adult Medicaid recipients.