Yarmuth says even though there's plenty of money in the bank he's not taking race against Dr. Macfarlane lightly

07/23/2014 08:24 PM

A well financed U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is fighting a familiar battle in the Louisville district against Republican Dr. Michael Macfarlane, a urological surgeon and physician, who’s campaign has yet to pick up much financial steam.

Macfarlane is targeting Yarmuth on the Affordable Care Act in what he calls a “unique” election year, but Yarmuth says he’s not going to take any chances.

“I’m not taking this race lightly particularly because the funding advantage because obviously Eric Cantor lost in Virginia with a significant funding advantage over Mr. Brat,” Yarmuth said. “I think I’m in good stead with my constituents I have done more than 4,000 events in this community over the last eight years.”

Yarmuth, who has been in office since 2007, has $716,000 in cash-on-hand for his re-election bid against Macfarlane who has $58,000 in the bank for the race, according to the 2nd Quarter fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“Dr. Macfarlane has not run a particularly active race he does not have a campaign headquarters. It’s kind of hard to get overly anxious about a campaign when he doesn’t appear to be a serious candidate,” Yarmuth said in a recent interview with Pure Politics.

The 3rd Congressional district favors Democrats with a two-to-one registration advantage, but Macfarlane said he “is the underdog in the race…but money doesn’t vote and this is a unique year.”

“This year I think there is a lot of backlash about what has been going on in this country for the past five years. Mr. Yarmuth has been a big supporter of those issues, and I think people are ready for a change,” Macfarlane said.

Macfarlane said he experiences first hand the healthcare system in action and says part of the solution is to bring down healthcare costs, but he says that can’t be done under the Affordable Care Act.

Yarmuth counters, in the interview above, that anyone who would repeal the healthcare law should have to answer to the Kentuckians who now have health insurance through Kentucky’s health exchange, Kynect.

“It’s always about alternatives. It’s interesting that Republicans from day one the Affordable Care Act passed they said we will have our alternative plan — they’ve never had it, because there isn’t a viable alternative,” Yarmuth said. (3:10)

Hear what Macfarlane says about alternatives and what needs to change in the healthcare system in the interview below.

On Macfarlane’s point on deductibles: There have always been option for people to choose individual plans with relatively high deductibles, but those high deductible plans also generally offer a lower monthly payment.

The federal government has capped the deductible rate for an individual at $6,350 and it will cap at $6,600 next year for a plan with low monthly payments with co-pays and pharmacy costs included. A family plan is double the cost of an individual plan in terms of costs, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Kentucky’s Health Exchange, kynect, offers several levels of insurance packages with a variety of deductibles to individuals and families. Click here to see a sampling of insurance coverage. There are also a variety of individual wellness questions asked to determine the cost of a plan, for instance a smoker will pay more for insurance than a non-smoker.

The cabinet says that nearly 43 percent of individuals signing up for health insurance under the state based exchange select the silver level insurance package — which is middle of the road for deductible and per-month payment options.


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