W.H. on Ky.: Vowing ObamaCare Repeal ‘Not a Terribly Effective Governing Strategy’

‘Since Medicaid was expanded in Kentucky, more than a half a million Kentuckians have got health insurance through Medicaid’

EARNEST: “Well Darlene, I would just note, as a factual matter, that in the — a couple of days before the election Governor-Elect Bevin said a couple of things including that he wanted to work with CMS to quote ‘actually come up with a program that will provide for these folks’. By these folks he meant people on Medicaid. When asked if people were going to be kicked off Medicaid he said quote ‘nobody is losing anything’. In a different interview, he noted quote ‘you don’t just bounce a person off Medicaid’.

 So, I think this is an indication of something you’ve heard me say on many occasions, which is that wowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in some cases has been used as an effective political strategy. But it’s not a terribly effective governing strategy. The fact of the matter is, since Medicaid was expanded in Kentucky, more than a half a million Kentuckians have gotten health insurance through Medicaid, gotten health care coverage through Medicaid or chip. 

That’s a — that’s a testament to the astounding impact of the Affordable Care Act has had on the lives of half a million Kentuckians to say nothing of the more than 17.6 million Americans that have gotten health care since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. That’s why the uninsured rate across the country is at all time lows and even the uninsured rate in Kentucky has been cut in half, since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

So, I think the — you know, the real focus here should be on the people of Kentucky and what impact these campaign promises are going to have. And I’ll leave it to you to assess the explanation for the change in the rhetoric from the governor-elect. OK. Jeff?”

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