Lord love Democratic Governor of Kentucky Steve Beshear. Speaking to a crowd of Kentucky voters at a fundraising breakfast, Beshear took the opportunity to praise the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) to the overwhelming support of the audience and take subtle jabs at those who were opposing Obamacare, which include Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul who were also attending.
Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, also attending, weren’t expecting the onslaught. Jill Lawrence reported, “It was not what anyone expected—least of all Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, who sat stone-faced onstage with Beshear as he unloaded on them without using names.”
Beshear finished with a stab to the heart of GOP’s NoCare, no alternative. “It’s amazing to me how people who are pouring time and money and energy into trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act sure haven’t put that kind of energy into trying to improve the health of Kentuckians,” according to the National Journal.
Ouch. That had to hurt Mitch McConnell especially, who is in a serious fight to retain his seat against challenger Alison Grimes. The National Journal reports that Beshear got very pointed with his criticism:
The governor compared health insurance to "the safety net of crop insurance" and said farmers need both. He said 640,000 Kentuckians—15 percent of the state—don't have health insurance and "trust me, you know many of those 640,000 people. You're friends with them. You're probably related to them. Some may be your sons and daughters. You go to church with them. Shop with them. Help them harvest their fields. Sit in the stands with them as you watch your kids play football or basketball or ride a horse in competition. Heck, you may even be one of them."
Beshear went on to say that "it's no fun" hoping and praying you don't get sick, or choosing whether to pay for food or medicine. He also said Kentucky is at or near the top of the charts on bad-health indicators, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer deaths, and preventable hospitalizations. He said all that affects everything from productivity and school attendance to health costs and the state's image.
"We've ranked that bad for a long, long time," he said. "The Affordable Care Act is our historic opportunity to address this weakness and to change the course of the future of the commonwealth. We're going to make insurance available for the very first time in our history to every single citizen of the commonwealth of Kentucky."
THIS is what I want to see Democrats doing as we near the 2014 mid-terms. Be unapologetic. Put the Democratic agenda in human terms everyone can understand. Push Republicans back on their heels and force them to defend their record.
Take note, Democrats. This is how you do it.