In a robust defense of Obamacare, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state's health care needs come before the divisive partisan politics to defund the law in Washington.
The op-ed in The New York Times on Friday continues Beshear's arguments in favor of the law, which is set to be implemented beginning Oct. 1.
In Kentucky, nearly one in six are uninsured and the state ranks at the bottom of nearly every major health measure.
“Lack of health coverage puts their health and financial security at risk,” Beshear says. “They roll the dice and pray they don’t get sick. They choose between food and medicine. They ignore checkups that would catch serious conditions early. They put off doctor’s appointments, hoping a condition turns out to be nothing. And they live knowing that bankruptcy is just one bad diagnosis away.”
Kentucky is also home to two of the bigger critics of the president's health care law: Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.
The two Republican lawmakers took to the Senate floor recently to hold a colloquy where they spoke about the law's unpopularity in the state and possible negative impacts.
Responding to the senators indirectly, however, Beshear scolded critics for putting their political ideology ahead of addressing health concerns.
From The NY Times:
Frankly, we can’t implement the Affordable Care Act fast enough.
As for naysayers, I’m offended by their partisan gamesmanship, as they continue to pour time, money and energy into overturning or defunding the Affordable Care Act. It’s shameful that these critics haven’t invested that same level of energy into trying to improve the health of our citizens.
So, to those more worried about political power than Kentucky’s families, I say, “Get over it.”
The Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land.
At the ground level, pitching Obamacare in Kentucky appears to be more about divorcing the president from the law itself.
As The Huffington Post noted, Kentuckians may simultaneously embrace the benefits of the state's health exchange—Kynect—while remaining opposed to the law that created it—Obamacare.