“The opposition (to Obamacare) was really either political or ideological…I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives…(Repealing Obamacare) that’s not gonna’ happen.”
“Kentucky Kynect is a website. It was paid for by a $200 and some odd million dollar grant from the federal government. The website can continue. That’s fine. I think its fine to have a website. But in my view, the best interest of the country would be achieved by pulling our Obamacare root and branch…Now regard to Kynect, it’s a state exchange. They can continue it if they like to. They’ll have to pay for it because the grant will be over. And with regard to the Medicaid expansion, that’s a state decision. The states can decide whether to expand Medicaid or not. In our state, the governor decided to expand Medicaid.”
If you follow this space you know that I have often expressed my disdain for the hypocrisy that raises its ugly head whenever right wing ideology crosses paths with reality. The subject today is the Affordable Care Act. Quoted above are the responses from two prominent Republicans forced to justify their efforts to repeal a law that is benefitting millions of Americans.
The first quote comes from Ohio Governor John Kasich. Ohio has historically been a key swing state in national elections. As governor of such an important state, Kasich has a strong voice within the Republican Party. He is in fact entertaining thoughts of running for the White House in 2016. Kasich has frequently stated that the ACA should be repealed. He backed up his rhetoric by refusing to accept the federal funds to expand Medicaid and open up an Ohio insurance exchange. Yet here we have him admitting that the opposition to the ACA is nothing more than politics and that the law is in fact improving people’s lives???
The second quote comes from the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. The response was to a question posed to him during his debate with Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergran- Grimes. McConnell has served as the Republican’s lead attack dog in their efforts to repeal Obamacare. As such McConnell has been asked by the debate moderator to explain what happens to the 500,000 Kentuckians who have found insurance coverage under the state’s popular Kynect Insurance Exchange if he is successful in repealing the ACA. His answer is nonsensical. He says that if the law is repealed the state can decide to whether or not to leave the Kynect website in place. He says that the state can decide whether they want to continue with the expansion of Medicaid. That’s simply not true. If the ACA is repealed, the funding for the website, the Medicaid expansion and the Kynect Insurance Exchange all go away…leaving 500,000 Kentuckians uninsured. Pressed again to explain what happens to the 500,000 Kentuckians previously covered under the exchange McConnell said: “They’re not going to be covered anyway.” In other words they weren’t covered before the ACA and they’re not covered if the law is repealed. What’s the big deal? When asked what he would offer as a replacement for the ACA McConnell said: “To replace Obamacare would require a step-by-step approach developed in a co-operative way with Members in a committee led process.” Translation…there is no plan.
The confluence of right wing ideology and reality...always an interesting phenomenon.