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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
He wants to take away your new insurance, Kentucky.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing the electoral challenge of his life, has bet everything on Obamacare repeal. So this is the last thing he wants to hear:
Nearly 265,000 Kentuckians are now enrolled in new healthcare coverage through kynect, and that number is expected to grow as the last month of open enrollment begins. Approximately 48 percent of all kynect enrollees are under the age of 35.
About 211K of those are receiving Medicaid subsidies. The state had 640,000 uninsured prior to ACA, so 41 percent of those are now insured, and Kynect reports that their website continues to support 2,000 concurrent users during peak hours.

So how is all of this relevant? We've seen this before, from a previously uninsured Kentuckian:

[35-year-old Ronald Hudson had] 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.”

In the last off-year Senate election in Kentucky, 1.35 million people voted. Rand Paul got 755K votes to 600K votes for Democratic AG Jack Conway (who just recently did the right thing on marriage equality).

It's obviously impossible to tell who those new Obamacare beneficiaries voted for that year, or if they voted at all. But in raw numbers, they are now 20 percent of the off-year Bluegrass electorate, and they have newfound motivation to vote, and vote Democratic. So if you're wondering why Republicans are fighting this like their existence depended on it, it's because their existence is genuinely at stake. If every uninsured Kentucky resident signs up for the ACA, that would equal about 47 percent of the 2010 electorate.

Republicans can't have that many people feeling happy positive thoughts about government, thoughts like "it's nice that I can get that thing checked out and not DIE from lack of insurance!" So McConnell has no alternative but to double down. But with the public warming up to the ACA and more and more people benefiting from the law, McConnell's reelection task has just gotten that much harder.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:18 PM PST.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  He'll probably lose in the primary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And KY will end up with a true-believer junior senator to the right of Rand Paul.

      God forbid, if the repugs take the Senate, who will be their majority leader? Not Mitch. That's pretty much a sure bet.

      "Let there be song to fill the air." R. Hunter

      by RUKind on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:31:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gud Nuz! (8+ / 0-)

    I will be so happy to see that turtle shove off and be replaced by ALISON!

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:23:12 PM PST

  •  Good riddance to old crud. n/t (8+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:23:59 PM PST

  •  Is Mitch the presumed candidate? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, RUKind
    •  Leading Bevin by 20 points or so last poll I saw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Solid lead, he's the incumbent, so he's a decent bet.

      Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

      by blue aardvark on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:02:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh really. (6+ / 0-)

        I locked on to todays news like a true believer:

        Group launches ad blaming McConnell for gay-marriage ruling in Kentucky

        A national Tea Party fundraising group aligned with Louisville businessman Matt Bevin plans to launch a radio ad Tuesday that blames Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for a court ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

        U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II, who issued a final version of his ruling last week, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush on the recommendation of McConnell. Heyburn served as general counsel for McConnell when McConnell was Jefferson County judge-executive during the early 1980s.

        "Republican voters strongly disagree with Judge Heyburn, and Senator McConnell should admit that recommending him was a mistake," the Senate Conservatives Fund said in a statement.

        The group's ad also notes that Heyburn ruled in 1998 to overturn the state's ban on partial-birth abortion.

        "Who recommended this liberal judge?" one actor says in the ad.

        "Mitch McConnell," another actor replies.

        "McConnell should admit right now that recommending Judge Heyburn was a mistake," the first actor says. "He knew this judge wasn't a conservative and promoted him anyway. Now we're stuck with gay marriage."

        Both actors go on to say they plan to vote for Bevin in Kentucky's Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
  •  Whistle past the graveyard much? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, blue aardvark

    McConnell might be getting rid of health care for a quarter million Kentuckians, but he is bringing sexy back for all of them.

    He is a smoldering hunk of grade A prime man flesh. Who could deny him what he wants? Not I.

  •  Mitch's new campaign slogan (13+ / 0-)
    Repeal your new-found peace of mind

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:57:04 PM PST

  •  Wish we had a breakdown of voting patterns (6+ / 0-)

    for new ACA recipients. The key is the former non-voters, as diehard Republicans will take ACA and vote Republican anyway because abortion and guns.

    Brainwrap, I expect you to add this to ACAsignups by next Tuesday ;-p

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:01:51 PM PST

  •  Grifters gonna grift - (0+ / 0-)
  •  He's a Kentuckyfied Chicken. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  This doesn't even take into account (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, mconvente, RUKind, paulex

    all the relatives, friends, co-workers, etc of all those 211k.  I'd say it's already a done deal.  

    Unless the GOP can get people to vote against their own self interests again.

  •  Moochers against welfare. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Apost8, sukeyna

    Kentucky voted 60-40 Romney last year, and I don't think that these people will suddenly become Democrats. McConnell is unpopular, but in 2008 he narrowly survived a reelection challenge in a year far more favorable to Democrats.

    •  True, but it's more than just the ACA... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, coppercelt

      Cuts to SNAP had much of Eastern Kentucky up in arms.  

      (Here's an interactive page that lets you drill down to individual counties' SNAP statistics. Pick any county or ZIP in a given state and you'll get a state map you can browse. (For those unfamiliar with Kentucky, use "Lexington, KY" to get started.)

      Kentucky has counties in which almost 50% of the population receives SNAP assistance - and the Republicans just cut it.

      Many of those same counties are among the largest beneficiaries of Kynect/ACA - and the Republicans want to gut it.

      So, the question is this - how convincing will it be for those folks when someone says, "Yeah, the Republicans just cut your/your son's/your brother's/your mom's SNAP benefits AND they want to get rid of the health insurance you/your son/your brother/your mom just received, too."?

      You're right, they won't ALL start voting Democratic...but every vote counts.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:07:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We could do with a gross reduction (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, onionjim, northerntier

    in the amount of 'fucking asshole' in the US Senate.

    The House too.

    Tick tock Mitch.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:08:55 PM PST

  •  Assh*** meet hedgefund. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:14:05 PM PST

  •  Why is this web site doing the job (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, wdrath, A DC Wonk, askyron, paulex

    of the Democratic party? That is, why isn't the party as effective in going on the offensive against the GOP as this site is? Why isn't it 10% as effective?

    When is the party going to wake up and realize that it will NEVER get the votes it needs by being the "nicer" and more "decent" party (or at least posing as such), and will ONLY get them when it mops the floor with the GOP?

    Voters respect strength. Everything else is just conversation.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:19:19 PM PST

    •  Chill -- don't get yer hopes up (0+ / 0-)

      First: what kovie said

      Second: is Grimes even talking about healthcare?

      Third: The poor and young don't vote a whole lot in off-year elections.

      What are we doing to do about that?

      •  What do you mean by "we" (0+ / 0-)

        "We" as loosely-organized people on the left, "we" as more organized activist groups, or "we" as the party. Three very different things. The left clearly needs its own tea party, to do the retail-level organizing and yelling that the party won't do from its 30,000 feet perch in the clouds, and to push the party to come back down to earth and get real. The millionaires who mostly run the party still seem to be stuck in DLC purgatory.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:47:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  well (0+ / 0-)

        As individual activists, we can have one-to-one conversations with people about the need for systemic reform, including a need for a low limit on campaign money.  My hope is that will produce better candidates as the candidates will not be able to rely on big money to get elected.

        The left will make little progress until individuals make it a priority to talk about campaign finance reform in daily conversations with the public

        by GideonAB on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:03:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My cynical side says that the majority of those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    265,000 would vote for McConnell even if they fully realized how few fucks about them he gives.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:26:55 PM PST

    •  This is a real question. (4+ / 0-)

      Kentucky did a great job on the ACA rollout. Now that they have a functioning system, will the voters pull the lever for R just out of habit?

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:32:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of the keys............. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, coppercelt

      to the fall general election (if Mitch survives the primary; which is likely) is the teabagger vote. I have live in Kentucky for 66 years and have been a student of its politics for 50. Moreover, I personally know some Kentucky teabaggers and they have no use for establishment Rethugs.

      While Romney did carry Kentucky by a large margin; that can be attributed as much to racism as broad right wing support. I know baggers who sat on their hands and refused to support Mittens. McConnell is another "establishment" republican in the eyes of the teabaggers.

      With his brokering of the deal to end the shutdown/default fiasco and by acquiring a "big gummint" slice of pork to boot; Yertle will have almost no Kentucky Teabagger support next year.

      Bevin is not likely to win the primary but Yertle cannot count on a "fired up' right wing base in the general against Grimes. The state and local Rethug machines “yes,” but those controlled by baggers “no.”

      Plus Yertle polled 2 points less positive than the hated Obama in Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and is polling even or slightly under Grimes. He is not a shoo in in November.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:56:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  there are other aspects of Obamacare (4+ / 0-)

    that haven't been hammered home nearly enough by Kentucky and elsewhere.

    Democrats should be shouting from the rooftops things like this:

    Obamacare has made it illegal, for the first time in American history, for health insurance companies to deny coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions. Thousands and thousands of people in this state have benefited from that. And it's only fair. That's something to be proud of.

    Obamacare had made it illegal, for the first time in American history, for health insurance companies to place hidden annual and lifetime caps on coverage.

    Obamacare has extended to the age of 26 how long young folks can remain on their parents coverage. And that has benefited a lot of people in this state and throughout the country.

    Am not sure why Democrats have been so reluctant to praise these obvious, and very popular, benefits from Obamacare. But they should start doing so now.

    •  The question is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, wdrath

      How can we get this message out to these Kentucky mountain folk?

      Fiddle tunes. We will put the message subliminally into tunes which a roving fiddle messenger could travel on foot to the remote villages and play.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:40:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the billion dollar question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northerntier, wdrath

      I understand that Grimes has not only been not shouting it from the rooftops, but avoiding the issue entirely.


      If ever there was a populist-ready issue (along with minimum wage), this is it.

      Where are the awesome Dem TV commercials on this?!  Even an elementary school kid could write one!

      "Hi, my name is Mary Lou.  I worked hard, and worked my way through school.  I paid my bills.  I paid my taxes.  I paid my insurance premiums.

      "Then, one day, disaster struck.  I was diagnosed with xxx.  I had to go to the hospital and needed an operation.  Then I was told by my insurance company that the bills exceeded their cap, and they stopped paying.  Then, at the end of the year, they cancelled my insurance.

      "For a whole year I went without insurance because no company would take me.

      "Then, finally, this year, because of the ACA, I was able to get an insurance policy.  I wasn't looking for a handout, I just wanted to buy something that everyone else was able to buy.

      "And the GOP has voted 50 times to repeal this law, and take away my insurance.

      "That's why I'm voting against McConnell, and..."

      C'mon Dems.  Where the heck are those commercials?
      •  For one thing... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wdrath, Larsstephens

        ...there's still a GOP primary to be conducted.  I don't blame the Democrats for saving their ad money for the general eleection.

        Imagine taking out ads now blasting McConnell...only to see him lose to Bevin in the GOP primary.  (McConnell is up roughly 20 points in the latest polling, but stranger things have happened.)

        Second, the name "Obama" is still poison in many parts of Kentucky.  Remember, we had counties that went 90%-9% for Romney.  In that context, talking about "Obamacare" is an uphill battle.

        If I were the candidate, I'd wait for the GOP primary results and then start talking about Kynect, not "Obamacare." Now THAT'S the ad that writes itself:

        Kynect has helped XXX,000 Kentuckians get health care - and you probably know at least a few of those people.

        We did that - a Kentucky solution to a Kentucky problem. We set it up, we got it going, and we're helping each other.

        Now, the Republicans want to come into Kentucky and stop Kynect in its tracks - and take away that health care. Don't let them do it.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:26:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Adds need to be made (0+ / 0-)

    and people need to see them. CLear and direct >This guy gets elected and he wants to take your insurance away

    Other than that most of those getting it are not likely regular voters during midterms.

  •  McConnell is a crafty old campaign bird and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will know just how to keep Kentuckians focused on the ever-evil Obama who wants to see him, McConnell, gone.  That's all it will take.  Just be the longest serving Obama hater.  All other issues are just debris in the water.  And there will be few displays of gratitude for affordable health care coverage.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:30:56 PM PST

  •  I want this race more than any before (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Being in Philadelphia, I won't be able to help as boots on the ground, but I will definitely be opening my wallet to help ALG win against the odious McConnell.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:34:30 PM PST

  •  When Red State voters see their premiums are.. (5+ / 0-)

    ..higher than bordering state prices in Blue states is one thing, but when RWNJ voters hear stories from other RWNJs in states where the Governor has accepted PPACA (like Kentucky) - that is when the S**t is really going to hit the fan
    MAP: The 5 Million People The GOP Cut Out Of Obamacare

     photo 6fcf6f7e-4db1-453b-8448-9cc96f343a1b_zps49725063.png
    ..and that may happen even sooner than November.

    It seems it's beginning now - and may be what the polls are indicating here: Obamacare now an electoral wash

    Thx Kos for the facts on this

  •  Thank you for this diary (4+ / 0-)

    It is something that I understand first hand as a Medicaid recipient.  The ACA made it possible for me to obtain insurance after I lost my job late last year.  And it is the best insurance that I have ever had in my 50 years of life.

    McConnell has boasted that he has won several elections with over 100,000 votes when folks like Clinton campaigned against him, but the number of recipients of health insurance under the ACA in KY will probably turn out to be 300,000 or so.  I have often thought that these numbers for the ACA signup will at least soften up McConnell.

    My only concern is that Grimes is still distancing herself from the ACA.  She is extremely vague on why she is not a supporter of the ACA.  However, I think she needs to embrace the Medicaid expansion as Governor Beshear has.  

    Beshear, who is extremely conscious of Obama's unpopularity in KY, has not been hurt by his handling of the ACA.  In fact, I'd say that Beshear improved his standing with Democrats with his role in the state exchange setup.  Grimes needs to adopt the methods of Beshear and use the Medicaid expansion to beat McConnell over the fucking head.

  •  Cant lose (0+ / 0-)

    How can Mitch lose, everyone in Kentucky are related to one another, and they all look like Mitch. Poor dears.

    "Two of my favoeate things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica ".   ...Abraham Lincoln ...

  •  47 percent, huh? (0+ / 0-)

    Where have we heard that  figure before?

  •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

    He's been screwing all 4 million-or-so Kentuckians since 1985, and all of America since '07

  •  McConnell would rather stress ... (0+ / 0-)

    the fact that he is not screwing over the other three quarter-million of those million Kentuckians.

    Mitch McConnell running on screwing a quarter-million Kentuckians

    I just missed being run over by the wheel of good fortune. The guy standing next to me was not so lucky.

    by glb3 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:43:58 PM PST

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