Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of misleading Kentuckians about Obamacare when the Senate Republican leader said on Monday night he wants to repeal the law but believes it’s “fine” to keep the state’s Obamacare exchange, Kynect.
“Tonight, Mitch McConnell looked into the camera and misled Kentucky about his plan to take Kynect from more than 500,000 Kentuckians who have gained health care in the last year,” the governor said in a statement. “Mitch told Kentuckians he’d keep the website up, while pulling the plug on federal funding, tax credits, and tearing down a marketplace that has made Kentucky a model of success for the nation — all to advance his partisan political agenda that has Washington in gridlock to the point of paralysis.”
Kynect, the state’s portal for Obamacare, has funneled federal subsidies to cover some 500,000 Kentuckians on the private insurance market or Medicaid.
During Monday night’s Senate debate, McConnell called Obamacare “the worst piece of legislation in the last half-century” and said it should be repealed “root and branch.” When pressed on the impacts of scrapping the law, McConnell said it’s “fine” to keep the Kynect website, though he didn’t address whether he would take away the subsidies if Obamacare is repealed, or whether he would fund them a different way.
Beshear and McConnell have long been at odds over Obamacare. The governor is supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the November election. He echoed her campaign promise to “work to fix any flaws” in the health care law.