McConnell Wants To Keep Obamacare ‘Website’ But Repeal Obamacare

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Monday night he wants to repeal Obamacare “root and branch” but keep the law’s state-based insurance exchange in Kentucky, called Kynect.

“I think it’s fine to have a website. Yeah,” he said during the first and only scheduled Kentucky Senate debate with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, pressed on whether he wants to keep Kynect.

Kynect is the portal which funnels the Obamacare subsidies that have insured some 500,000 Kentuckians in the last year on the private insurance market or Medicaid expansion. It is well-liked in the state even though Obamacare polls poorly.

“The website can continue but in my view the best interests of the country would be achieved by pulling out Obamacare root and branch,” McConnell said. He declared Kynect a “state exchange” and argued that the state of Kentucky “can continue it if they’d like to.” He said Medicaid expansion was also “a state decision.”

If Obamacare is repealed, then the federal subsidies for the coverage expansion would disappear and Kentucky would either have to strip that insurance for recent recipients or foot the large bill through the state’s budget.

McConnell did not say how that coverage would be funded if Obamacare is repealed. His remarks hold to his somewhat contradictory position from earlier this year that Kynect is fine but Obamacare should be repealed.

Grimes torched “the fictional fantasy land that Mitch McConnell is in” on Obamacare, saying that she would keep the law and tweak aspects of it, such as by extending the “grandfathering” clause so as to let individuals keep insurance policies deemed substandard by Obamacare rules.

She said more than half a million Kentuckians have benefited from the health care law — she didn’t use the word Obamacare — and promised that “I will not be a senator that rips that insurance from their hand.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: