Politics
10:57 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Say Kentucky Not Buying Obamacare

In a rebuttal to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's editorial praising the Affordable Care Act, Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul argue Kentucky isn't buying into the president's health care law.

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Rand Paul (r)
Credit U.S. Senate

The health exchange dubbed Kynect launched on Tuesday allowing residents to shop for an insurance plan as part of the federal law, better known as Obamacare.

Kynect is expected to serve the nearly 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians, many of whom are expected to receive discounts on health insurance through either state subsidies or expanded Medicaid.

Critics of the law have pointed to "glitches" and technical difficulties within the online system as a sign Obamacare isn't ready.

But as WFPL's Devin Katayama reported, officials say it was the heavy demand and traffic volume that caused login issues in the state system. And The Wall Street Journal reported Kentucky's rollout went smoother than most other states.

In a new editorial, however, McConnell and Paul continued to speak out against the law and took Beshear to task for telling critics to "get over it."

From The Cincinnati Enquirer:

The governor likes to tout his so-called discounts for health insurance too. What he won’t tell you is that most Kentuckians won’t receive them, and that the subsidies will be financed by higher taxes and cuts to Medicare.

Gov. Steve Beshear seems to think this is a good deal for Kentuckians. He took to the pages of The New York Times to sing Obamacare’s praises and blast both of us for daring to oppose a law that so many Kentuckians want to see repealed. (SNIP)

We’re sure that won him some applause in Manhattan. But the self-congratulatory rhetoric won’t do much for families like yours. Obamacare might sell in New York, but Kentuckians aren’t buying it.

The latest numbers released by the governor's office show nearly 11,000 applications for health insurance have been started. As of yesterday, approximately 7,000 have been completed and nearly 3,000 individuals and/or families are enrolled in new coverage plans under Obamacare. 

Beshear's office says four out of five Kentuckians using Kynect are expected to qualify for some form of financial assistance to help cover a portion of their insurance costs.

There have been reports of states overstating web traffic and concerns that mandatory health care could exacerbate demand on hospitals, which a Kentucky doctor shared with CNN recently.

From CNN:

Dr. Ryan A. Stanton is worried that this coming flood of newly insured patients may crash the U.S. health care system as well. Stanton works at the emergency room at the busy Georgetown Community Hospital right outside of Lexington, Kentucky.

(SNIP)

There is already a national shortage of doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. We're down about 20,000 now, and the number is expected to get worse as nearly half the nation's physicians are over age 50 -- meaning many are at or near retirement age. And it's not just doctors who are in short supply; we also need more nurses, according to the American Medical Association.

McConnell and Paul also say health care coverage choices are being limited in certain parts of the state, adding Obamacare "strips away your freedom to choose what plan works best for you and your family."

"In short, we agree with Gov. Beshear that Kentucky needs health reform. But we strongly disagree that Obamacare is the answer. As so often happens when our friends on the left set out to fix a problem, their ideas, however well-intentioned, end up hurting the very people they sought to help. That’s just what we’re seeing with Obamacare," the two GOP senators write.

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