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Reid Trolls McConnell As Obamacare Slashes Kentucky's Uninsured Rate

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AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

"My counterpart, the senior senator from Kentucky, will address the Senate probably after I finish," the Democratic majority leader said Thursday on the Senate floor. "In his home state of Kentucky, 360,000 people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Three hundred and sixty thousand."

He was referring to official Kentucky figures that the state-based Obamacare exchange signed up roughly 360,000 Kentuckians before the March 31 enrollment deadline. About 270,000 of them were previously uninsured, which stands to cut the state's uninsured population of 640,000 by 42 percent.

"Over a quarter million Kentuckians who did not have insurance now have health care under the Affordable Care Act. Or, in other words, Obamacare has reduced the uninsured population in Kentucky by 40 percent. I wonder when my friend from Kentucky will explain to the 270,000 Kentuckians how he plans to repeal the law without stripping their new health benefits."

During the speech, Reid name-checked Kentucky no fewer than five times in that context. The state has been comparably successful at implementing Obamacare under its Democratic governor, Steve Beshear.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, responded on Twitter by linking to a local report from November estimating, based on state figures, that 280,000 Kentuckians would see be dropped from their coverage due to Obamacare.