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I've consistently maintained that the Affordable Care Act will be an electoral plus for Democrats this November as the law's initial success lifts both its approval ratings and those of the president (who just hit their highest number in Gallup's daily tracker since September 2013).
But there is also the rhetorical cul-de-sac Republicans are trapped inside: They've made much hay of the president's promise that no one would lose their existing insurance. Yet here they are, a few months later, running explicitly on a promise to take away insurance from well over 10 million Americans. In Kentucky, that number is 413,000, exactly.
Beth Moore left her job - and her health insurance - to start her own company in January.
In March, while visiting Texas, she had an emergency appendectomy followed by a nasty bout with pneumonia that added up to more than $30,000 in medical bills.
But Moore was one of 413,410 Kentuckians who signed up for free or subsidized health insurance through kynect, Kentucky's state-run health insurance marketplace made possible by the federal Affordable Care Act. So far, the most she has paid for her treatment is $150.
That's a lot of Kentuckians, many with the same story as Beth Moore, who are now in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's crosshairs. And that 413,000 will grow because applications are still being processed.
Given that 1.35 million voted in the last off-year election in Kentucky, that 413,000 represents about 31 percent of the electorate. Of course not all of them will vote, and not all will vote Democratic, but that's a huge chunk of people who now have a vested interested in ensuring that McConnell doesn't hold on this November.
Rand Paul won that 2010 election over Jack Conway by 155,000 votes. So in case you're wondering why Republicans are panicking over the ACA's success, there you have it. But as we're seeing with Red-state Democrats in Louisiana and Alaska, the law isn't the liability Republicans think it is. And by the time this is all said and done, conservatives will rue ever calling it "Obamacare".
Democrats will win elections thanks to this law, and sooner than we could've ever hoped.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:30 AM PDT.