McConnell renews fight to delay Obamacare in the Senate as the issue remains hot in his primary

09/12/2013 11:03 AM

Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has ratcheted up his rhetoric against the Affordable Care Act in his role as Senate Republican Leader and, simultaneously, in his re-election campaign.

In a speech on the Senate floor Thursday about the Affordable Care Act, McConnell said he has reintroduced legislation that will delay the implementation of the health care law for individuals as it has been for businesses.

“We need to pass a one-year delay of Obamacare for everyone. That’s what the amendment I’ve filed will do. And then enact what Kentuckians and Americans really need: a full repeal of this job-killing mess of a law. And that’s just what I intend to keep fighting for,” McConnell said on the floor.

The Senate has previously voted down McConnell’s amendment. But McConnell said after a similar piece of legislation passed the House recently with bipartisan support, he believes it is time for senators to take another look at his amendment.

“I know they all got an earful back home last month too. So maybe they’ve reconsidered the wisdom and the fairness of their earlier position. Maybe now they think that individuals and families should be treated no differently than businesses when it comes to protecting them from Obamacare,” McConnell said.

The speech on the Affordable Care Act comes as McConnell is in the heat of a tough re-election battle where he is getting hit from within his own party on the issue through ads by a conservative group and statements by his GOP challenger.

In an effort to blunt some of those attacks, McConnell released a new radio and web ad that shifted the campaign’s focus from Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin back to Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Obamacare has been the central point of the Bevin campaign. He has said repeatedly that McConnell is not leading efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act.

But according to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker , Bevin’s claims about McConnell doing nothing little to fight Affordable Care Act are false.

The Post gave Bevin four Pinocchios on their “Pinocchio Test” for the claims. Here’s why:

Bevin needs to restrain his rhetoric. While McConnell appears skeptical of Bevin’s preferred route to end the health-care law, that’s not an excuse to invent a fictional McConnell who “never stood on the floor of the Senate to actually rally” against Obamacare when the Democrats pushed the law through Congress–and who since then has repeatedly sought to repeal or dismantle the law.

McConnell’s success in uniting Republicans in opposition to Obama’s vision greatly hobbled Obama’s achievement, as the president can never claim he had bipartisan backing for a health-care overhaul. That’s the root of the law’s political problems to this day.

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