Mitch McConnell has painted himself into a corner he won't be able to get out of over his support of Kynect, the Obamacare health exchange created in his home state and his passion for repealing Obamacare. It's kind of like digging your own six foot grave, getting in, having it filled with dirt and then trying to crawl your way out with just your fingers. Let's just say he's no Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill: Vol.2.
Kentucky's newspaper, Lexington-Herald Leader was not impressed with his ever changing positions.
One of the biggest newspapers in Kentucky is taking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to task for taking a bizarre new position on Obamacare and Kentucky's state-based Obamacare exchange, Kynect.
McConnell has recently begun arguing that while Obamacare should be repealed, the state of Kentucky should be able to keep the Kynect system as it is, even if the federal law the system is based on were to be uprooted completely.
"If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore told TPM on Tuesday.
That doesn't quite add up to the editorial board of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
"Repeal the federal law, which McConnell calls 'Obamacare,' and the state exchange would collapse," the editorial said on Wednesday. "Kynect could not survive without the ACA's insurance reforms, including no longer allowing insurance companies to cancel policies when people get sick or deny them coverage because of pre-existing conditions, as well as the provision ending lifetime limits on benefit payments. (Kentucky tried to enact such reforms in the 1990s and found out we were too small a market to do it alone.)"
The editorial goes on to say that Kynect wouldn't be able to survive without the federal funding from Obamacare.
"Kynect is the Affordable Care Act is Obamacare — even if Kentuckians are confused about which is which," the editorial continued.
Add Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) to the list of Democrats attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for saying Obamacare should be repealed but Kentucky's Obamacare exchange, Kynect, should stay in place.
Here's Beshear's response, passed to TPM on Wednesday in response to questions about McConnell's position:
Eliminating ACA means that folks with pre-existing conditions will struggle to find coverage, young adults won't be able to stay on their parents' coverage, women won't be treated equally by insurers and federal subsidies for Kentuckians will end. Senator McConnell either doesn't understand what the ACA is, or is just trying to mislead Kentucky families for his political benefit at their expense.
Beshear has been widely praised for setting up Kynect, which is often regarded as the model for state-based marketplaces created through Obamacare.
Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes' tentatively responded to his follies this way:
Ever since Mitch McConnell’s comically absurd evasions on Obamacare began gaining attention from the press, people have wondered whether Alison Lundergan Grimes would make them an issue. McConnell’s refusal to say what should happen to Kentucky Kynect — even as he continues to call for repeal of the ACA – allows Grimes to point out that McConnell’s position would take health coverage away from hundreds of thousands of constituents who are benefiting from it, and he won’t admit it.
Now the Grimes campaign is finally hitting McConnell over his gyrations on the issue, accusing him of “voting to destroy Kynect.” From Grimes senior adviser Jonathan Hurst:
Mitch McConnell has been in the fantasyland that is Washington for so long that he cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction. McConnell has voted to destroy Kynect — and he has said he will do it again. In the U.S. Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes will fix the law to ensure it is working for all Kentuckians.
She should be hitting this harder than that, but since the media is finally waking up to McConnell's ludicrous position on Kentucky's health care, she has an opening. Will she use it properly?
It's good to see Lexington Herald-Leader calling out Mitch like this. There is so much confusion in people's minds right now about how healthcare actually works that the polling in KY says they love Kynect, but hate Obamacare. This is a good way for Allison to educate the voters. and explain that both parts are one in the same.