Hey Rand ...pssss..pssss...
Kentucky's success makes a mockery of GOP Obamacare foes
Wednesday's Wall Street Journal provides the perfect encapsulation of the conservative crusade against the Affordable Care Act. On the opinion pages, columnist James Taranto mocked the story of new Obamacare enrollee Brendan Mahoney. But where news is actually reported, the WSJ's Arian Campo-Flores explained, "Why Kentucky's Health Exchange Worked Better Than Many Others." But the Bluegrass State didn't just provide a relatively smooth first-day enrollment experience. As it turns out, one of the only reliably red states to both establish its own health care exchange and accept the expansion of Medicaid to low income residents, Kentucky is already proving Republican critics of Obamacare wrong.
Those critics include Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, Kentucky's Republican senators who were caught on a live microphone in Washington admitting their real motives is shutting down the government over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. But back home, things are going pretty well for Kentucky's uninsured seeking to obtain coverage at Kentucky's Kynect exchange:
While Kentucky's health-insurance exchange experienced some glitches when it launched Tuesday, it seemed to perform better than many of its peers.
State officials and outside experts attribute the smoother rollout to a variety of factors, including intensive testing of the system, a less-flashy but more-efficient website and strong coordination among state agencies involved in the effort.
As a result, Kentucky's exchange, dubbed Kynect, logged solid results in the first day and a half of operation. As of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, 10,766 applications for health coverage had been initiated, 6,909 had been completed and 2,989 individuals or families had enrolled in new coverage.
As the Journal suggested, Kentucky's success may be in large part to the experience of state agencies working closely together on other health care systems in the recent past, including a prescription-drug monitoring database. But the biggest factor of all is Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who early on opted to have Kentucky run its own health care marketplace and accept billions of dollars of essentially free money from the federal government in order to expand Medicaid to cover 308,000 lower income working residents. In a recent New York Times op-ed, Gov. Beshear explained below why "My State Needs Obamacare. Now": .