Mitch McConnell had the nerve today to demand on the Senate floor that President Obama use the State Of The Union to announce that he is ditching Obamacare.
And here’s something else: he could work with us to relieve the pain Obamacare is causing for so many Americans across the country. Across all income brackets.
I asked him last year to prepare Americans for the consequences of this law. He didn’t do it.
Today, those consequences are plain for anyone to see.
Just last night, I hosted a tele-town hall where Kentuckians shared their stories about the stress that Obamacare is causing: restricted access to doctors and hospitals, lost jobs, lower wages, fewer choices, higher costs. I assure you, these folks won’t be applauding when the President tries to spin this law as a success tonight. More than a quarter million Kentuckians lost the plans they had and presumably wanted to keep – despite the President’s promises to the contrary.
This is a law that caused premiums to increase an average of 47 percent in Kentucky, and in some cases more than 100 percent.
This is a law that, in some parts of my state, is limiting choices for health care coverage to just two companies in the individual exchange market.
And at what cost to the taxpayer?
$253 million. That’s how much Washington has spent so far for these results in my state. A quarter of a billion dollars to essentially limit care, cancel plans, and increase costs.
Kentucky has gotten more money to set up its exchange than every state except California, New York, Oregon, and Washington. That’s a lot of money. And they’ve still only enrolled 30 percent of the people they were supposed to at this point. How is that a success?
So President Obama and Governor Beshear can keep telling Americans to ‘get over it’ if they don’t like this law, but sooner or later they’re going to have to come to terms with reality. They’re going to have to accept that Obamacare just hasn’t worked like the Administration promised – in Kentucky, and across America – and that it’s time to start over with real reform.
That’s why, tonight, I hope the President will make a change. I hope he’ll announce his willingness to work with members of both parties to start over with real, bipartisan reform that can actually lower costs and improve quality of care.
That’s the kind of reform Kentuckians and Americans really want.
Actually, Mitch, this isn’t the kind of reform that Kentuckians want. The Republican proposal that McConnell is touting as bipartisan reform would take away healthcare from 116,000 Kentuckians. A new poll by the Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky found that nearly 80% of Kentuckians favor the Medicaid expansion that the Republican healthcare bill would end. 60% of Kentucky Republicans support the Medicaid expansion that McConnell is trying to end.
Mitch McConnell’s ridiculous demand that President Obama uses his State Of The Union address to announce that he is killing Obamacare is what happens when a desperate incumbent senator who is fighting for his political life puts all of his eggs in the repeal Obamacare basket.
The Republican alternative to the ACA would raise taxes on the 150 million Americans who get their health insurance from their employer while throwing nearly 10 people off of their current health insurance.
There is a less than zero chance that President Obama will embrace anything that is in the Republican faux healthcare plan. Mitch McConnell is getting desperate. He is on the wrong side of the Obamacare issue, and his grip on his Senate seat is loosening by the day.
President Obama should do the exact opposite of what McConnell suggested. The president should reaffirm his commitment to the ACA, while Kentuckians should redouble their efforts to ditch Mitch.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association