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.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).
“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.”
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.