Now that the hysterical hyperventilation over the Affordable Care Act has passed, we are starting to hear about the more positive ways in which the law is being implemented. It's very interesting to note how two red states, Nevada and Kentucky, have chosen to tackle the rollout.
As noted in this piece, Governor Sandoval (R-Nevada), is all in.
Sandoval is the only Republican governor whose state is both running its own health insurance exchange this year and expanding its Medicaid program under the health law. He’s arguably doing more to put the Democrats’ signature law into place than any other Republican.
“I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception,” he wrote in an email. But he’s a former federal judge and in his view, once the Supreme Court upheld the legislation, “the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land.”
Apparently, his constituents appreciate his adult behavior.
Even after sticking his neck out on Obamacare — which few others in his party would consider amid fear of a conservative backlash — Sandoval is overwhelmingly popular in Nevada. State lawmakers backed his Obamacare approach on a bipartisan basis, and he’s cruising toward reelection next year with no formidable opponent in sight.
Huh. So, moderating and actually accomplishing the business of government works. So does "stamping Obamacare to his forehead." Whoda thunk it? Well, considering the ACA was a Republican idea in the first place...
Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat in the (not much longer now) red state of Kentucky has also fully embraced the ACA.
The way Beshear tells it, “this” is enrolling 69,000 Kentuckians in newly available health coverage programs, a number that has grown steadily and that the Democrat expects to “surge” in the final weeks of the year. As the only governor of a Southern state who has both set up a state insurance exchange and green-lighted an expansion of the Medicaid program, Beshear represents a painfully rare bright spot in the landscape of Obamacare implementation. The state exchange, dubbed Kynect, has been a model of smooth enrollment compared to the federal government’s version, and has absorbed 550,000 web visitors and 180,000 phone inquiries so far.
Hoo boy...so much for the boiling pit of sewage. Governor Beshear has even been calling out folks like Mitch McConnell on all the lying over the ACA.
“I have a U.S. senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don’t want this,” Beshear said. “Well, the facts don’t prove that out. There’s about 550,000 on our website right now who want it — and some 65,000 to 69,000 that have signed up. So Kentuckians do want it.”
"I want to publicly invite our entire federal delegation to come back to Kentucky as [Democratic Rep.] John Yarmuth does all the time and come over to our center, our nerve center where we’re running this program and see for yourself what is going on,” said Beshear. “When you see that, I think you’ll quit saying this will not work and Kentuckians don’t want it.”
Governor Beshear also notes that the issue of the ACA is going to come back and haunt McConnell in his already tough reelection battle next year. I agree. In fact, I'm going to predict right now that McConnell loses that race because the far right in Kentucky is pissed off at him and won't turn out. Heck, he might not even make it out of the primary. Alison Lundergan Grimes is a very popular, moderate Democrat currently serving as Secretary of State for Kentucky. She will pull GOP voters to her side, given the Kentuckian embrace of the ACA.
Republican governors and Democrats in southern red states embracing the Affordable Care Act? All this bipartisanship makes me warm and fuzzy. I wonder how it makes the Tea Party feel these days...:)