McConnell’s Mixed Message On Kynect, The State’s Health Exchange
During a debate last night with Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the state's online insurance marketplace could stay but the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. In addition, news outlets report on Senate races in Arkansas and South Dakota.
The Wall Street Journal: McConnell, Grimes Face Off In Kentucky Senate Debate
Both candidates at times found themselves wrapped in rhetorical knots—Ms. Grimes on whether she ever backed President Barack Obama and Mr. McConnell on the Affordable Care Act. … Moderator Bill Goodman, of Kentucky’s public television network, also pressed Mr. McConnell about the Affordable Care Act. Mr. McConnell said he continues to push for a repeal of Mr. Obama’s signature health-care law, but said Kentucky ought to be able to maintain its state-level health care exchange – provided state officials find a way to pay for it. “It’s a state exchange, they can continue it if they’d like to,” Mr. McConnell said. “They’d have to pay for it, because the [federal] grant would be over” (Epstein, 10/13).
The Hill: McConnell Says Ky. Healthcare Exchange Can Stay But Not ObamaCare
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Monday he wouldn’t mind if the state healthcare insurance exchange known as Kentucky Kynect stayed but reiterated his call for the full repeal of ObamaCare. Policy experts have questioned the feasibility of preserving the popular state exchange while also repealing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which set it up and similar exchanges around the country. “Kentucky Kynect is a website. It was paid for by a two-hundred-and-some-odd-million-dollar grant from the federal government. The website can continue but in my view the best interests of the country would be achieved by pulling out ObamaCare root and branch,” McConnell said in a debate with Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate for Senate. Kynect, the health insurance marketplace set up by ObamaCare in Kentucky, has emerged as one of the law’s success stories. About 10 percent of the state’s population has used it to obtain insurance coverage although critics note most of that has come about through an expansion of Medicaid (Bolton, 10/13).
The Associated Press: Cotton, Pryor Stick To Familiar Themes In Debate
Pryor defended his vote for the federal health care overhaul and said that before the law many Arkansans were one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. “We needed to put patients back in charge of their health care,” Pryor said. “I do support changing the law, I do, but I don’t want to go back to those days.” Cotton called the law a “disaster” for the state and the country and said repealing it could allow for other reforms. “When we start over on health care reform, we can take a program like Medicaid that has too much red tape and return it to the states and let states make those decisions,” he said (10/13).
The New York Times: Senate Contest In South Dakota Is Free-For-All
But Mr. Rounds has acceded to his party in some matters since the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced last week that it would air ads here. He started broadcasting a commercial contrasting his views on taxes, the health law and the Keystone XL pipeline with those of his two main opponents and has consented to bringing in strategists from Washington to help his get-out-the-vote effort (Martin, 10/13).