Beshear to national press: 'Chill out' on the Affordable Care Act

10/27/2013 09:32 AM

Amid the embarrassing problems with the federal health exchange website, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he guaranteed they would eventually be smoothed out and then played media critic on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

“The advice I would give the news media and the critics up here is take a deep breathe,” Beshear told host David Gregory. “You know this is a process. Everyone wants to have a date where they can declare victory or defeat or success or failure. That’s not what this is all about.”

As part of Beshear’s last word in the segment he added: “Everyone needs to chill out because it’s going to work.”

Beshear outlined the latest numbers in Kentucky — that 26,000 people have signed up for health care through Kentucky’s health exchange of which 21,000 qualified for Medicaid expansion and 5,000 have been matched up with private insurance.

It was the latest in Beshear’s national media tour as a spokesman for a state system that, especially in comparison to the federal website, appears to be working better. Beshear in recent weeks has appeared on CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, NPR and in the pages of newspapers from the New York Times to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On Sunday, Beshear sat across the table from Gregory while Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio joined the interview remotely. Kasich criticized the Affordable Care Act because he said it doesn’t “get to the nub of the issue” of reducing health care costs.

Kasich went up against his own Republican controlled legislature to expand Medicaid just as Beshear did in Kentucky in order to cover those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty rate. Kasich said he wasn’t going to ignore the poor, drug-addicted and veterans, which is why he accepted the expansion of Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The problems with the federal health exchange website has been a flashpoint over the last two weeks for critics to call into question the entire law.

During congressional hearings this week, contractors pledged they can fix the federal website by the end of November. But the open enrollment window closes at the end of March 2014. The website’s problems prompted members of Congress, including some Democrats, to suggest pushing that deadline back.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • MikeTrip wrote on October 27, 2013 10:55 AM :

    “Take a deep Breath” sounds very familiar. It is the line the Clinton’s used every time they had to cover up a scandal. Beshear is obviously taking a page from the Clinton scandal book.

  • Dee W. wrote on October 27, 2013 02:52 PM :

    Quite an incomplete discussion – no mention of the millions upon millions of people nationwide who are losing their insurance as a result of this law that Beshear claims is “working” – define “working”, Governor.

  • Ferv888 wrote on October 27, 2013 04:59 PM :

    So 21./.26= a disaster on the horizon. Every state so far is reporting over 50%, and as much as 80% of those signing up are Medicaid eligible, subtract those along with those up to age 26, and the 7mm young people needed to pay the higher premiums thin out pretty quickly.

    I loved the dweeb head of Florida insurance company saying those who’s policies that were cancelled, were not really cancelled but were being “ transitioned” to OWEBAMACARE. if you do not continue to sell me under the contract I had, I’d call that being cancelled. Do not give the BS that I am getting a better deal because I now get maternity coverage.. That would be Immaculate conception or my wife looking for somewhere else to live.

  • Len wrote on October 28, 2013 05:53 AM :

    It’s all a big “coverup” of the “truth,” politics as usual and dirty politics as usual. They can’t do nothing cleaned because they need cleaning up themselves…Go to the Bible, learn from it and clean your way…then see if your politics and living will be different!

  • Jay wrote on October 28, 2013 06:37 AM :

    Obamacare was sold as a lie and Beshear is enabling more of the same. The people have figured this out and we do not like Obamacare. In 45 of 50 states premiums have gone up not down $2500 as Obama promised. Take a deep breath? Not of what you are selling Beshear.

  • Tony wrote on October 28, 2013 07:03 AM :

    Do we have a count on how many Repubes and Tea baggies were told to login to crash the site? You know not all of Bill Gates crap works every time either. The keyword here is AFFORDABLE. If you have a job that pays half what it did 15 years ago even the cheapest plan is not “affordable”. Round up the big employers that have plotted to destroy American’s work force and hold them for treason. Then REGULATE insurance companies that are robbing the consumers.

  • Ken Moellman wrote on October 28, 2013 09:15 AM :

    All I know is that I don’t get to keep my insurance. It’s been decalred a “loop hole” by the “Affordable Care Act” for being too affordable. I love government logic. My rates will likely triple; I’ll know this week. I looked at the rates on the KY Exchange the night it opened up, and found that to buy through the exchange, my rates would triple.

    Also, it cost $252M just to set up the exchange. So, basically, we have spent about $10,000 per person who has signed up, so far, just to bring them a website.

  • Scott Lindsey wrote on October 28, 2013 10:18 AM :

    Brashear won’t discuss how our already debt ridden state will pay for all of this after the four year federal grant runs out and the state he claims to have ran so well picks up all of the people that signed up.
    But why would Brashear care anyway? He will be a cabinet member in the next democrat administration!! Bank on it! He will take Kathleen’s place in secretary of HH&R.


  • Jay wrote on October 28, 2013 10:44 AM :

    “Take a deep breath” Steve Beshear. Translation… keep quiet and eat the crap sandwich.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on October 28, 2013 02:52 PM :

    Once again, our governor manages to embarrass Kentucky on the national stage. He keeps telling everyone how great Obamacare is in Kentucky to sell it to the rest of the country. Never mind the fact that Obamacare has INCREASED the healthcare insurance costs for those who are paying for health insurance, and according to whistle blowers, the number one question being asked on the Kentucky health care exchange hotline is, “What number do I need to put down to get free health insurance?” The income reporting is on the honor system for now.

    If I was giving away something that I was forcing other people to pay for, I could crow about my success rate too.

    Then there’s the biggest issue that most people seem to miss entirely. It is fundamentally immoral for any government to force any person to buy anything from anyone.

  • Tony wrote on October 29, 2013 07:01 AM :

    “premiums will triple, can’t keep your insurance’ ? I know the “naysayer”. He has insurance through his employer. His income is way above the average. Plus he has a big family. Lies to make his point. Another Tea Whiner that shouldn’t be using the website. He’s better off than most of his neighbors and is using ObamaCare to scare them.

  • Waybert17 wrote on October 29, 2013 08:43 PM :

    82% of the people who have signed up in Kentucky….have went to the Medicaid option of the plan.

    Other state exchanges, besides Kentucky’s, indicates that about a third of the new enrollments are by people who have been eligible all along for Medicaid and just didn’t sign up until now. Caught up in the hoopla about universal coverage, these poor Americans are now seeking to enroll in Medicaid.

    Gov. Beshear, whether he knows it or not, has broken the state budget, and put all of Kentucky taxpayers on the hook for the enormous bill that is coming. Kentuckians enrolling under the newly expanded Medicaid eligibility standards will be financed fully by the Federal Government for three years, after which Kentucky will have to chip in 10% for another three years. After the three years, federal funding will go back to the usual federal-state Medicaid match of 1/3 to 1/2 federal funding. Since Gov. Beshear has opted not to expand Medicaid coverage in Kentucky, this effect on the Kentucky state budget will be significant. But, hey, what does he care….he’ll be out of office in three years. Come to think of it…we can blame that Republican Gov. (Comer)? for the mess!

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