Harry Reid Completely Hammers Mitch McConnell On Obamacare Success In Kentucky

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During a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tore into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) regarding the success story that the Affordable Care Act has been in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. Days after it was revealed that the number of people who signed up for private insurance plans on the state and federal exchanges under Obamacare exceeded the administration’s goals, Reid pointed out some basic facts in regards to the health care law’s effect in Kentucky.

During his speech, Reid said the following:

“My counterpart, the senior senator from Kentucky, will address the Senate probably after I finish. In his home state of Kentucky, 360,000 people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Three hundred and sixty thousand. Over a quarter million Kentuckians who did not have insurance now have health care under the Affordable Care Act. Or, in other words, Obamacare has reduced the uninsured population in Kentucky by 40 percent. I wonder when my friend from Kentucky will explain to the 270,000 Kentuckians how he plans to repeal the law without stripping their new health benefits.”

Not only was Reid highlighting absolute facts of the law’s effectiveness in the state, he even understated the reduction of uninsured in Kentucky. Previously, there were 640,000 uninsured people in the state. After this first enrollment period, the state’s uninsured population has been reduced by 42%. In the nation as a whole, the uninsured population has been reduced by an estimated 20-25%, which is significant in its own right. However, Kentucky is one state where the law has been a rousing success.

The response from McConnell’s team was laughably bad. Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo highlighted the following tweet made by Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell:


The link that Stewart provided was to a story by a local Kentucky television channel. The story was written back in November 2013. Early in the story, while it does state that 280,000 Kentuckians would lose their existing insurance plans, it also points out that nearly all of those people were being transitioned into new coverage that was ACA compliant. Nobody was technically losing insurance coverage or becoming uninsured due to the transition of coverage.

Obviously, Stewart, by sending that tweet, was giving the appearance that the ACA had caused 280,000 to lose their insurance altogether in Kentucky. Therefore, even if Obamacare was able to get 270,000 previously uninsured people coverage, the overall effect was still a net negative. Basically, he is being deliberately obtuse for the sake of creating his case that the ACA is actually doing harm in Kentucky and causing more people to be uninsured in the long run.

To summarize, Reid hammered McConnell with some inconvenient truths about the ACA’s effectiveness in Kentucky, where McConnell is seeking reelection in November. In response, McConnell’s spokesman tweeted out a story written five months ago that clearly stated that people weren’t losing insurance coverage because of the ACA. Seriously, is this the best that McConnell and his staff can do? Pointing to a five-month old article that doesn’t even support their argument?


10 Replies to “Harry Reid Completely Hammers Mitch McConnell On Obamacare Success In Kentucky”

  1. NONE of those who “lost” totally substandard coverage – they ought to be breathing sighs of relief – has been counted as newly enrolled.

    Those junk policies weren’t so much cancelled as recalled – as we do with defective products – because they provided almost NOTHING in even catastrophic cases. The people who had them got false senses of security but paid through the nose FIRST before any coverage kicked in. Most who used them discovered they had to go out of pocket to bankruptcy – and still no coverage.

    The idiocy of thinking they lost something instead of gaining it is evidence that ODS trumps good sense any day of the week.

  2. All we have to do is keep those repugs talking, tweeting, and posting nonsense on their FB pages. They can’t help but make buffoons of themselves. They want to attack so bad that they don’t think about what they are saying or doing. When they open their mouths stupid falls out. If they have no other recourse they lie or just resort to name calling like children.

  3. Mr no neck McConnell strikes again.

    Does he ever NOT sound like the south end of a north bound horse who just ate a bale of cabbage?

  4. “Seriously, is this the best that McConnell and his staff can do?” …. you ask?

    Yes. Yes, it’s the best they can do. They’ve got nothing left.

  5. Right, Harry. Let’s see Alison Grimes run on the Obamacare law. She will run, as far away from it as she can!

  6. P.S. Obamacare does not exist in Kentucky. It was never funded by the state legislature. This article is propaganda. Worse than Tokyo Rose ! But the governor continues to act as if it was law. Very scary !

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