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421,000

Kynect has been an unequivocal success in Kentucky. While our poor collective health has long been a black eye on our magnificent Commonwealth, the future is beginning to look much brighter. Kentucky’s health indicators rank near the worst in the nation for smoking, cancer deaths, heart disease, and diabetes, factors exacerbated by the one in six Kentuckians who lacked insurance. However, since Governor Beshear, in accordance with the ACA, established Kentucky’s statewide health-care exchange, a healthier Kentucky has already begun to take shape. Over 421,000 Kentuckians have new health coverage, either through private insurers or as a result of Medicaid expansion. Republicans certainly have not gotten out of the way, but Governor Beshear has, nevertheless, managed to help his people.

Without ever proposing any alternative for the 421,000 Kentuckians who have gained health coverage, Republicans have staked their fortunes in November on eliminating the ACA, and thereby kynect. Senator McConnell has constantly threatened to repeal the health-care law “root and branch”. Kentucky State House Republicans derailed debate on something as important as our state’s budget with DC-style, obstructionist amendments.

On Friday, a Courier-Journal piece highlighted the “pickle” Kentucky Republicans find themselves in now that the health-care law is working for Kentucky. Despite a Kentucky Health Issues poll showing that 79% of Kentuckians favor Medicaid expansion, and despite Mitch McConnell resorting to outright deception in claiming that repealing the ACA would not impact kynect and the 421,000 Kentuckians benefitting from it, RPK Chair Steve Robertson doubled down on his promise to take health-care away from 421,000 Kentuckians if they take control of the House:

“He has said GOP state legislative candidates are going to run against the health care law and intend to push for a rollback in the expansion of Medicaid if the party takes over the state House this November or wins the governorship next year.”

Kentuckians have a clear choice in November: Elect state legislators that will fight for the middle class, women, and the well-being of hardworking Kentucky families, or elect Republicans that offer no plan other than to abandon 421,000 Kentuckians. The difference has never been clearer, and more has never been at stake. Democratic State Representatives will work with Governor Beshear to not only ensure that our workers, both men and women, are paid a fair, living wage, but also to protect the 421,000 who now have access to quality, affordable health-care. If Republicans take over the State House in November, Kentucky takes an irreversible leap backwards.