Haley aide: Furor over healthcare grant a 'joke'

A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said Thursday that there is no reason to investigate the state's use of a grant to implement President Obama's healthcare law.

"This is a joke," spokesman Rob Godfrey said. "Governor Haley has long been on record opposing Obamacare and its exchanges, and she remains committed to keeping them out of South Carolina."

South Carolina accepted a $1 million grant to study its options for establishing an insurance exchange. But a South Carolina newspaper reported last week that Haley told the panel conducting the study that its real mission was to find a way to avoid setting up an exchange.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on Thursday asked the Health and Human Services Department to investigate whether Haley misused taxpayer funds by accepting the grant.

"I suggest the liberal senator for Iowa is better off investigating how pro-Obamacare governors are wasting tens of millions of tax dollars studying how to implement a fatally flawed and unconstitutional law that will hopefully soon be struck down by the Supreme Court," Godfrey said. "South Carolina did the right thing.”