Beshear doubles down on embracing Affordable Care Act in Ky. as 413,000 have signed up for insurance

04/22/2014 06:22 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear offered his latest deflection of criticisms and offered state Democrats a campaign strategy heading into the fall elections in Tuesday’s pep-rally of sorts for Kentucky’s health exchange.

Beshear unveiled the tally of 413,410 Kentuckians who have received health insurance through Kentucky’s health care exchange, which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

At a press conference in the state Capitol, Beshear announced the latest enrollment numbers and said they would only climb as the Commonwealth draws into the year and paper enrollments are counted and the open enrollment period opens again in November.

On hand to speak at the press conference were two enrollees into the exchange, which Beshear touted as success stories for the state based health insurance program.

Scott Ledger, a self employed small business owner from Newport, shared his story of a $230 cost savings when he left his wife’s insurance program and purchased an insurance package from the Kynect, the state based insurance exchange program.

Republican lawmakers have been raising issues and and concerns with the Affordable Care Act, specifically the long-term costs of expanding Medicaid and running the exchange once federal money is pared back in 2017.

House Democrats are in a precarious position heading into the fall election cycle with their slimmest majority in recent years, and Republicans have already been running on an anti-Affordable Care Act platform, specifically playing off its more political name, “Obamacare.”

While Beshear said he couldn’t tell each candidate how to run on the issue he said he didn’t think Republicans would have any success running against it with the success stories he’s touting.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has made repealing the Affordable Care Act a central issue in his campaign for re-election.

But Beshear, warned that McConnell would have a lot of explaining to do to the more than 413,000 Kentuckians who have insurance under the exchange.

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