by William Teach | April 2, 2014 7:52 am
This is all in the form of telling us that Obamacare is a disaster, but KeNect is super awesome
The office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just announced that more than 370,000 people have now signed up for Obamacare on KyNect, the state exchange. More than one out of every dozen Kentuckians – 8.6 percent of the state population – now has obtained coverage through the exchange, Beshear’s office said, claiming that a preliminary analysis has established that three out of four enrollees has reported that they were uninsured before signing up.
But as recently as three days ago, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was denouncing Obamacare as “disastrous,” lamenting the “catastrophic effects” the law has had on Kentucky families, and insisting that “the pain caused by this terrible law is easy to see.” He claims the law must be uprooted “root and branch.”
So the question is, Does there come a point at which Alison Lundergan Grimes can more directly target McConnell for wanting to take health coverage and security away from hundreds of thousands of people?
That meme about taking health coverage and security away is cute, and repeated multiple times. Yet, at least 280,000 Kentucky residents lost their health insurance plans directly because of Obamacare. So we can figure that around 75% of the signups were people that had health insurance and lost it. Why was Sargent not concerned about them when they were losing their plans and security? That 75% number seems to jibe well with what is happening in the federal and all the state exchanges, namely that 75%-85% of people who sign up previously had insurance.
And while the Kentucky exchange seems to be working well in terms of signing people up, they face the same problem: high deductibles, which range from $4000 on a base bronze plan to a high of $6350. There are only two companies offering plans: Kentucky Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kentucky Health Cooperative. The latter offers just one plan per level. BCBS offers several plans per level (none in platinum, though). How’s that for consumer choice? Plus, let’s consider that many are receiving government taxpayer money to help pay the premiums. Another entitlement.
The talking point about taking health coverage and security away is looking to become a new talking point for Ocare supporters. Despite over 6 million losing their plans.
Grimes appears to be adopting a strategy of deliberately avoiding engagement on Obamacare. There’s a plausible rationale for this. The campaign seems to have calculated that above all, she should avoid getting drawn into Washington arguments (such as the one over the health law). That’s because one of her chief strengths is that she never served in Washington (and didn’t vote for the law). If Grimes’ main assets are that she’s very much of the state and represents something new – making it easier to paint McConnell, with his low approval ratings, as part of the Washington problem — then avoiding association with Washington Democrats and controversial national legislation perhaps makes sense.
In other words, once you get beyond all the silliness from Sargent, Grimes is running like hell from defending Ocare, which her party rammed through and owns, because she knows it is a losing policy position.
As far as KyNect working correctly, well, some state had to work correctly, at least statistically. It’s surprising more haven’t worked correctly. One would have thought it wouldn’t be that hard to put together a website in this day and age.
(NPR) “This law is doing what it’s supposed to do,” Obama said at the Rose Garden. “It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast.”
Well, if it means that 75% of the signups are people who were unceremoniously thrown off their plans, well yeah. That’s working. What about the 30-45 million people without insurance? Wasn’t that the point? Are we really spending $2 trillion over ten years to add around a million new people with health insurance?
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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