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That's the opening line in a front-page Washington Post article, "In rural Kentucky, debate over health law takes a back seat as people sign up."  Wow.  A positive story and some in-depth reporting on the ACA in the Washington Post.  The details of the story must be freaking out McConnell and Rand Paul.

Here's the excerpt that really caught my attention:

If the health-care law is having a troubled rollout across the country, Kentucky — and Breathitt County in particular — shows what can happen in a place where things are working as the law’s supporters envisioned.

One reason is that the state set up its own health-insurance exchange, sidestepping the troubled federal one. Also, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is the only Southern governor to sign on to expanded eligibility parameters for Medicaid, the federal health-insurance program for the poor. The less technical reasons involve what [health clinic worker Courtney] Lively told Noble next.

“Okay, Woodrow, now you get to shop a little bit,” she said, explaining options he’d never had before.

“If you go to the doctor, all you’re going to pay is $1,” she began. “If you’re in the hospital for an extended period, you should only be billed $5. . . . If you get medicine, generics are $1 and brand is $4. . . . You can go to the dentist once a month — exams, X-rays and cleanings are covered. . . . Now for your teeth, the plan does take care of having them pulled and does take care of fillings, but not bridges, because that’s considered cosmetic.”

The story goes on to tell the stories of a series of Kentuckians who have come into the clinic to sign up under ACA.  It's very moving -- the sort of actual slice-of-life reporting from the poorer sectors of rural America that seems so rare.  It's a sobering read, but so refreshing amid the Republican Party's continuing anti-Obama and anti-Obamacare hatefest.

The other kicker bit in the article:

Soon, Ronald Hudson walked in.

“Okay,” Lively began. “What Hudsons are you kin to?”

“R.T., Uncle Lenny . . .” said Hudson, a skinny 35-year-old who worked as an assistant director at the senior center and had just been released from the hospital after a blood-sugar spike.

He’d never had insurance before and said his hospital bills were up to $23,000 at this point.

“Good night,” Lively said, tapping in his information.

Kids: five. Salary: about $14,000 before taxes.

“You’re going to qualify for a medical card,” she told Hudson.

“Well, thank God,” Hudson said, laughing. “I believe I’m going to be a Democrat.”

Put that down under "Words that drive Republicans even crazier."

Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 5:23 AM PT: Update:  I'd like to add a link to another excellent piece of commentary, from this morning's New York Times (I added a comment on this below):

I am in Wisconsin, and have been waiting for someone to focus on this reality:  the diverging fates of Minnesota and Wisconsin since the 2010 election of Walker here and Dayton there.  The story highlights especially the important emerging differences in health care.

Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM PT: Please see hannah's companion (rec list!) diary on the importance of the ACA community health center provision:  We need to MAKE the major media publish more and more stories like this..  

Originally posted to strobusguy on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:44 PM PST.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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