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Yarmuth to McConnell: Tell Our Constituents the Truth about Health Law

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House Floor today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) took on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ridiculous and disingenuous claim that Kentucky could retain the benefits of Kynect – the state exchange created under the law – if the Affordable Care Act was repealed.

Since Kynect was launched in October, nearly 415,000 Kentuckians – roughly 1 in 10 – have gained new coverage. Three-fourths of new enrollees reported not having insurance prior to enrollment. In its first six months, Kynect helped cover nearly 50 percent of the state’s previously uninsured population.

Repealing the health reform law would eliminate coverage for nearly every Kentuckian who gained coverage through Kynect. Repeal would reverse the Medicaid expansion, under which more than 300,000 Kentuckians have gained coverage. It would end federal premium assistance, making private plans currently offered through Kynect unaffordable for most Kentucky families. And it would allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

“McConnell’s claim that we can keep Kynect and still repeal the Affordable Care Act is as absurd as it is disingenuous, and our constituents deserve to know that,” Yarmuth said.

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Full text of Yarmuth’s remarks:

 

Mr. Speaker, Kentucky has been a national model for the Affordable Care Act. In the first six months of Kynect, the state exchange created by the law, we enrolled nearly 415,000 Kentuckians in new health coverage. That’s 1 in 10 Kentuckians and nearly half our previously uninsured population.

But rather than help inform his constituents of life-saving insurance options now available to them, Senator Mitch McConnell has spent the past four years working to repeal that coverage while misleading Kentuckians about the law.

Now he’s suggesting Kynect’s overwhelming success can remain – even if he succeeds in repealing the law that created it. That couldn’t be more disconnected from the truth.

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, more than 300,000 Kentuckians covered through the law’s expansion of Medicaid would lose their coverage. Insurers would no longer be required to cover pre-existing conditions, and private plans through Kynect would become unaffordable for most Kentucky families.

Mr. Speaker, health reform has been so successful in Kentucky that Mitch McConnell now says we should keep Kynect. But his claim that we can keep Kynect and still repeal the Affordable Care Act is as absurd as it is disingenuous, and our constituents deserve to know that.