GOP Differences Over Obamacare Could Decide La. Special Election

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 01:38 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Sharply divided opinions over Obamacare could decide the outcome of a special run-off election Saturday in Louisiana between two Republicans vying for a vacant seat in Congress.

Front runner Neil Riser, a state senator, is staunchly committed to repealing the healthcare reform law, a position he said "is critical for the future of the country," Politico reports.

But Riser's run-off opponent, businessman Vance McAllister, argues against the strategy of repealing Obamacare, believing that Republicans should focus instead on different ways to limit the healthcare law.

According to Politico, McAllister also favors expanding Medicaid to provide health coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income state residents, despite GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's repeated refusal to accept the expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

The outcome of the race will determine who will succeed former Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned in August to take a position in Jindal's administration.

McAllister, who came in second to Riser in the Oct. 19 open primary with 17.8 percent of the vote compared to Riser's 32 percent, continues to be the underdog. But political strategists say Democrats who back Obamacare could be the key to swinging the vote in McAllister's favor.

"It's an interesting phenomenon," GOP political consultant Roy Fletcher told Politico. "Because of the open primary system, if you end up with two Republicans, Democrats have a greater chance of deciding the election."

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