It all started on October 1. While Congress was busy shutting down the government, the Affordable Care Act opened the exchanges for business, and I kept seeing one governor on television talking about the ACA in his state. It was Steve Beshear (D), the Governor of Kentucky. For days I watched him appearing on news shows proclaiming how wonderful the ACA was and how people were enrolling in his state. He talked about the study he had done that showed that the ACA was going to help the economy and add jobs to his state.
I kept marveling at the optics of it all because out of Washington, D.C., the two senators from Kentucky, Rand Paul and Minority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell, were also appearing on news shows talking about what a disaster the ACA was. I couldn't help but wonder if these two Senators knew what was going on in the state they represent, or if they did know, but since it didn't fit into their world view, just ignored or dismissed the reality.
At 11:30 this morning, President Obama gave a speech on Economic Mobility. It is an inspirational speech well worth reading or watching. However, considering what is going on in Kentucky, one of the highlights of the speech is near the end. I was watching The Rachel Maddow Show tonight and they played a clip from this section just before going into the half hour commercial:
I have acknowledged more than once that we didn’t roll out parts of this law as well as we should have. But the law is already working in major ways that benefit millions of Americans right now, even as we’ve begun to slow the rise in health care costs, which is good for family budgets, good for federal and state budgets, and good for the budgets of businesses small and large. So this law is going to work. And for the sake of our economic security, it needs to work. (Applause.)One of the most interesting 2014 races to watch will be Mitch McConnell's race for reelection. First he has to survive the primary challenge. And if he does that, he gets to ask the voters of his state to send him back to Washington so he continue to work towards repealing Obamacare and taking away the healthcare they just obtained, many for the first time in their lives. Voters like Ronald Hudson who (as was already diaried last month), had a memorable reaction upon learning that he finally had health care coverage:
And as people in states as different as California and Kentucky sign up every single day for health insurance, signing up in droves, they’re proving they want that economic security. If the Senate Republican leader still thinks he is going to be able to repeal this someday, he might want to check with the more than 60,000 people in his home state who are already set to finally have coverage that frees them from the fear of financial ruin, and lets them afford to take their kids to see a doctor. (Applause.)
“Well, thank God,” Hudson said, laughing. “I believe I’m going to be a Democrat.”