What in the world did he mean last week when he told reporters that repeal of the Affordable Care Act — "root and branch," as he has demanded many times — is "unconnected" to the future of Kynect, Kentucky's health insurance exchange?When McConnell made his original claim, it instantly became the stupidest and most dishonest thing his reelection campaign had said since day the day it launched. He might as well have said that repealing Social Security would have nothing to do with whether or not people in Kentucky receive Social Security checks. If anything, the campaign's "explanation" is even dumber and more deceitful.
Asked specifically if Kynect should be dismantled, McConnell said: "I think that's unconnected to my comments about the overall question." [...] We asked the McConnell campaign for a clarification and were sent the usual talking points and a statement saying, "If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," a suggestion that is unconnected to reality.
Kentuckians are waiting to learn if their five-term senator understands — or cares — how much is at stake.
If you take their words at face value, then McConnell believes that no matter what happens, Kentucky should set up an insurance marketplace. The only question is whether it should be Kynect or something else. But you can't take the words at face value because they are impossible to square with his support for repeal, because under Obamacare, Kentucky has had and continues to have the power to choose whether its marketplace should be Kynect or something else.
In fact, without Obamacare, Kentucky wouldn't have a choice between sticking with Kynect or going to something else because without Obamacare there would be no funding mechanism to help people get insurance who couldn't otherwise afford it and there wouldn't be a national framework requiring insurers to offer quality health coverage plans.
If McConnell truly believes that Kentucky should be able to keep Kynect, then he needs to abandon his support for repealing the law that makes Kynect possible. Unless and until he does, McConnell needs to own up to the fact that he also wants to destroy Kynect and take away insurance for 421,000 Kentuckians. For him to claim otherwise is an outrageous lie—the kind of lie that should cost him his seat in the U.S. Senate.