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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions from reporters after the weekly Republican caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
"Pardon me while I make up some stuff to help my campaign."
Another day, another collection of Pinocchios for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler. At issue: McConnell claimed that under Obamacare, four times as many Kentuckians had received insurance cancellation notices as had enrolled for coverage in Kynect, the state's health insurance exchange.

As it turns out, McConnell's claim was not only based on inaccurate numbers, but it also relied on comparing apples and oranges:

  • McConnell claimed 280,000 people had received insurance cancellation notices, but the number he cited was not of people who had received cancellation notices, rather it was an estimate of the number of Kentuckians who could at some point receive a cancellation notice before the end of 2014.
  • It turns out the 280,000 figure was too high. After taking into account which plans could be grandfathered and the Obama administration's fix to extend plans, the state revised its estimate of people could receive cancellation notices by 40 percent to 168,000.
  • More than half of these plans are in the small business market, which is not served by Kynect.

To recap: McConnell used a number that had already been reduced by 40 percent, claimed that it reflected the number of people who had already had their plans cancelled when it instead reflects the maximum number of plans that could be canceled by the end of the year, and ignored the fact that more than half of the plans weren't part of the individual market that Kynect serves.

McConnell conveniently failed to mention that including both Kynect and Medicaid, 370,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in new coverage thanks to Obamacare, 75 percent of whom were previously uninsured. McConnell's political problem is obvious: Overall, one in 12 Kentuckians now has health insurance because of Obamacare and he wants to repeal their coverage. That's a losing proposition and short of flip-flopping on Obamacare repeal, his only hope is to create a false reality in which Obamacare is doing more harm than good.

Whether or not he succeeds in doing that may well determine his political fate, but one thing is clear: The facts are not on his side.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah. Maybe someday Grimes will argue for Kynect (6+ / 0-)

    Instead of mealy-mouthing and posing with rifles.

    Yertel has few worries in the final analysis.

  •  It is only bad if People found out about it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1toughlady, Pragmatus, MPociask, BRog

    Sadly, short attention span and massive ignorance coupled by a passive media will allow Mitch to get away with this.

  •  Mitch lying is the same (5+ / 0-)

    as Mitch breathing. It happens all the time.

    •  Indeed. This is a story about a nonevent. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OregonWetDog

      Mitch takes to lying like a duck to water.  The guy's famous for it.  Moreover, he's not even a clever liar.  I suppose adroitness at lying isn't the goal of Republicans.  After all, they don't argue issues; they simply bawl that the "liberal," mainstream media are "out to get em."  Yet one thing confounds me:  why ever would the people of Kentucky keep voting for this mendacious sack of bombast, bluster, and hooey?

  •  Well, let's be fair (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Lashe
    More than half of these plans are in the small business market, which is not served by Kynect.
    That's not part of his point. It's still the ACA that would be causing some of those cancellation notices. And he's complaining about the cancellations, not about the number of people who are now on his exchange that got the cancellations.

    So really he's only doubly wrong, not triply.

    •  On the other hand... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arfeeto

      If you get a notice that your plan plan will no longer be available, but your insurance company tells you about your other options, is it really a cancellation?

      In other words, if Mitch is looking at the net effect, the only thing that would matter would be someone that previously had insurance who longer does.  That's a cancellation that would negate a sign up.  Someone who previously had insurance which is no longer legal under the ACA is the wrong number to look at - you'd need to know how many of those people let their insurance lapse instead of purchasing compliant insurance.  We don't have that number, as far as I can tell.  

      But I do agree with you that the small business market numbers shouldn't be subtracted for the reason you point out.  

  •  Earned his wooden nose you say? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arfeeto

    Too bad a pair of lips didn't come with the deal. As you can clearly see from the picture, he must have lied his old pair off.

  •  Pravda comes to The Commonwealth (0+ / 0-)
    To recap: McConnell used a number that had already been reduced by 40 percent, claimed that it reflected the number of people who had already had their plans cancelled when it instead reflects the maximum number of plans that could be canceled by the end of the year, and ignored the fact that more than half of the plans weren't part of the individual market that Kynect serves.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:11:01 PM PDT

  •  That commercial ... (0+ / 0-)

    with Pinocchio as motivational speaker is hilarious. Seen it?

    If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

    by edg on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Facts? Republicans don't need no stinkin' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    facts.  And fact checkers are just out to get them, cannot be believed.  Cus they said so.  So there!

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:18:01 PM PDT

  •  Heh... (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.newyorker.com/...

    Make America Safe: "Clean" Your Guns Daily!

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:38:18 PM PDT

  •  Well, get the correction into the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arfeeto

    echo chamber. And keep banging and banging it.

    Mcthingee should be shown to the reasonable people of KY that he is a liar and a cheat when it comes to their well-being.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 03:21:56 PM PDT

  •  He looks awful in that photo. Spectral. nt (0+ / 0-)

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:23:20 PM PDT

  •  McConnell's spokesman is pushing a bizarre (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arfeeto

    report from TV station WYMT from back in November. It is titled 280,000 Kentuckians will lose current coverage under ObamaCare but the text does not actually support the title if you actually read to the middle of it.

    However, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Insurance Ronda Sloan said the change in policy will not drastically impact the care people receive.

    "These plans are being discontinued and people are being transitioned to new coverage. Technically they are not losing coverage," said Sloan.

    Instead, she added folks will get new plans under their insurer, which must meet mandates from the government.

    "What companies are doing now is saying, 'The policy that you currently have does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, so we are moving you to this policy that does meet the requirements'," said Sloan.
     

    But I guess the title is enough to convince lots of people even though it's just editorial laziness (or worse).

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