The Richmond Register

State News

August 22, 2013

Beshear, McConnell square off on health care reform

LOUISVILLE — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell used the Kentucky Farm Bureau breakfast Thursday at the State Fair to duel over the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as its critics refer to it.

Beshear has implemented the law in Kentucky, establishing online exchanges for people to shop for low-cost health insurance and expanding Medicaid to cover about 300,000 previously uninsured Kentuckians.

McConnell, on the other hand, tells every audience he faces that “we need to pull out Obamacare, root and branch.”

So when Beshear addressed 1,600 or so gathered for the annual breakfast, McConnell sat stoically two chairs away while the governor said implementing the law “is a historic opportunity to change the future of the commonwealth.”

Beshear said implementing the law “is not only the right and moral thing to do,” but will provide an economic boon to Kentucky by creating 17,000 jobs with a positive economic impact of $15.6 billion. That ultimately will boost state revenues by a net of $800 million, he said.

“These aren’t my numbers,” the governor said, telling the crowd they were the conclusions of two independent, outside analyses.

Beshear recalled for the audience — and perhaps specifically for McConnell — that the same tupe of health care reform was successfully implemented in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee was governor, and it didn’t cause employers to leave in droves. And, more people in that state now enjoy health insurance coverage, the Kentucky governor said.

He said it is time for Washington put away political posturing and bickering and work across partisan lines to solve national problems.

It didn’t take McConnell long to respond when he followed Beshear to the podium.

After ticking off some of his standard lines about the national debt and what he calls a “war on coal” by the Obama administration, McConnell turned to Beshear’s comments.

Text Only
State News
  • Healthcare signup in state extended

    While the national health exchange established by the Affordable Care Act — known to some as Obamacare — suffered glitches, crashes and delays, the Kentucky-run exchange, Kynect, often was cited as a national model.
    Nevertheless, those in Kentucky who didn’t sign up before the March 31 deadline will have a second chance to enroll.

    April 3, 2014

  • House sends $20.3 million budget to Senate

    It took four hours and it won’t last long in its present form when it reaches the Republican-controlled state Senate, but the House passed a $20.3 billion, two-year budget late Thursday on largely, but not entirely, party lines.

    March 13, 2014

  • Right-to-work bill dies in House panel

    The sponsor of a right-to-work law in Kentucky knew it had no chance of passing a House committee Thursday.

    March 13, 2014

  • Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards

    When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.

    March 7, 2014

  • Senate panel OKs trial use of cannabis oil

    Rita Wooten and her husband Ricky face an excruciating choice: watch their 4-year-old son suffer from repeated seizures — or violate the law in order to help him.

    February 26, 2014

  • Two honored for work with sexually abused

    It’s Erica Brown Myers’ job to help those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. But helping others can take a toll on the helper as well as the victim.

    February 26, 2014

  • Paul asks Senate for help in 2016 quandary

    Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul last week asked Republican state senators to try to repeal a Kentucky law that bars anyone from appearing on the same ballot for more than one office.

    February 24, 2014

  • Republican party split on display in Cave City

    Splits in the Kentucky Republican Party were subtly on display here Saturday evening – if you knew what to watch.

    Around 400 gathered at the Cave City Convention Center for the annual Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner but this one was different from past dinners.

    February 24, 2014

  • Comer positioning with gubernatorial politicking

    The roughly 400 Republicans at Saturday night’s Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner here were primarily focused on the U.S. Senate race and Republican hopes to take over the state House of Representatives this fall.

    February 24, 2014

  • Scales of justice.jpg UPDATED: Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriage, judge rules

    A federal judge has ruled Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states violates the U.S. Constitution.

    February 12, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story