The Real Story Behind the Phony Canceled Health Insurance Scandal

bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 29 May, 2014 06:59 am

Why is Mitch McConnell Suddenly Afraid to Run Against Obamacare?
The senator is happy that 400K Kentuckians have health insurance through the state's exchange.

I've had this long-running theory that the Affordable Care Act will end up being a net-negative for Republicans by November. As I wrote last month:

There is also the rhetorical cul-de-sac Republicans are trapped inside: They've made much hay of the president's promise that no one would lose their existing insurance. Yet here they are, a few months later, running explicitly on a promise to take away insurance from well over 10 million Americans. In Kentucky, that number is 413,000, exactly.

Turns out I'm on the right track, as Sen. Mitch McConnell is turning himself into pretzels trying to weasel out of that rhetorical cul-de-sac. So there he was last week claiming, hilariously, that Kentucky Kynect, the state implementation of Obamacare, had nothing to do with Obamacare.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says he would try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he's elected Senate majority leader.

But the veteran senator won't say what would happen to the 421,000 Kentuckians who have health insurance through the state's health care exchange.

McConnell told reporters Friday that the fate of the state exchange is unconnected to the federal health care law. Yet the exchange would not exist, if not for the law that created it.

After that incident, people wondered, maybe McConnell misspoke? Well, they've had all weekend to think about it, and the verdict is in: they're doubling-down on the tactic:

The McConnell campaign made clear he does not endorse the state exchange, but indicated it could survive a full blown repeal if the GOP takes over the Senate.

"If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore told WFPL.

There is one way Kentucky can decide for itself whether Kynect survives or not: The November Senate election. One candidate wants to repeal it, and let's be clear, if Obamacare goes, so does Kynect and the 421,000 people who now have insurance because of it. And the other candidate? Well, the other candidate needs some work on the issue.

When asked twice by the Associated Press whether she would have voted for the federal overhaul four years ago, [Alison Lundergan] Grimes balked.

"I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act," Grimes told the AP.

That's being rightly spun as Grimes avoiding the issue. And she can't avoid it. Not only does it generate bad "Grimes avoiding the issues" headlines, but she'll be closely associated with the law whether she likes it or not.

So if asked if she would've voted for it, why not say something like "Yes! And there are 421,000 Kentuckians who would thank me for that today. Of course, it's not perfect, so I'll vote to fix it where it's not great, unlike Mitch who won't allow any improvements."

That would highlight the law's benefits to the state, while also reinforcing McConnell's negative reputation as an endless obstructionist. Let Republicans throw their temper tantrums. No one is attracted to a candidate who responds with a defensive crouch. It is they who must defend stripping insurance away from over 400,000 Kentuckians. And given McConnell's early flailings on the issue, it's clear they recognize the danger ahead.

Markos Moulitsas is founder of the political blog Daily Kos and coauthor of "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics" (Chelsea Green Publishing).
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 29 May, 2014 07:00 am
Ol Mitch is one conflicted boy!
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 29 May, 2014 09:39 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Also, have Kentuckians gone over the 'fiscal cliff' yet? LOL
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 30 May, 2014 07:15 pm

Rand Paul ‘not sure’ if he wants to dismantle his state’s Medicare expansion
By Arturo Garcia

Friday, May 30, 2014 19:38 EDT
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Rand Paul on Fox News Hannity (Screenshot)


Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) struggled to explain his feelings on Friday toward his state’s healthcare exchange, putting him alongside Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in an awkward position regarding the new service, Talking Points Memo reported.

“I’m not sure,” Paul told reporters on Friday, before launching into a halting explanation. “There’s going to be — how we unravel or how we change things. I would rather — I always tell people there’s a fork in the road. I was in healthcare for 20 years, so we had problems in healthcare, but we could have gone one of two directions. One was towards more competition and more marketplace and one was toward more government control.”

Earlier this week, Paul and McConnell seemed to be taken aback during a joint press conference when a reporter asked McConnell whether the exchange should be dismantled, considering his strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

McConnell paused for several seconds, then nearly handed the microphone to Paul before pulling it back and saying that subject was “unconnected” to his feelings on the health care law.

The exchange, known as Kynect, quickly became one of the high points in last year’s otherwise troubled implementation of the ACA, commonly known as “Obamacare.” Kynect has drawn praise from not only Gov. Steve Bashear (D) but multiple media reports.

To date, more than 413,000 Kentuckians have enrolled for the program. MSNBC reported earlier this month that, while the ACA remains unpopular in the state under its given name, Kynect is polling more favorably.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Paul did account for Kynect’s positive reviews on Friday, while calling the expansion of the state Medicare program implemented under the law a “shock to the system” and saying he would still vote to repeal the federal law itself.

“Can a state still have an exchange?” he was quoted as saying. “You know we live in a 50-state union so some states could have exchanges. They already did before Obamacare.”

Watch Paul’s remarks, as posted online on Friday, below.
0 Replies

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