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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Republicans across the country may be banking on a “repeal Obamacare”-only message carrying them to victory in November, but at least one powerful conservative group is shifting its message closer to the mainstream.

In an ad released Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce insists that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — whom the Chamber has endorsed in his 2014 re-election campaign — “is leading the fight to fix this Obamacare mess.” Not repeal. Fix.

McConnell cannot control what the Chamber of Commerce says about him, but the ad represents a significant shift from the minority leader’s promise to to repeal the law “root and branch.”

It’s not hard to understand why the Chamber is avoiding the more fiery anti-Obamacare rhetoric that has characterized the health care debate in other red states. Kentucky has become a model for how well the Affordable Care Act can work in states that are not actively working to undermine it. In just one month, the law reduced Kentucky’s uninsured population by 5 percent, and 250,000 Kentuckians are projected to have enrolled in new coverage by the end of February. They’ll presumably have a problem with McConnell’s repeated promises to strip them of their health care.

The ad may be an indication that the Chamber is looking past the May 20 Republican primary, and toward the general election. Any equivocation on repealing the Affordable Care Act is anathema to Tea Party voters — McConnell’s primary challenger Matt Bevin literally lists the senator’s supposed ambivalence on the issue as the number-one reason to vote against him — and it’s hard to imagine the Chamber running this ad if it thought McConnell were in any danger of losing the nomination. Given that Kentucky is benefiting so significantly from the law, however — and that repealing Obamacare is generally a less popular proposal than keeping it in place and fixing its broken parts — putting some distance between McConnell and the Tea Party position could help him in what’s expected to be an incredibly tight race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

There’s plenty of reason for the Chamber to be confident about McConnell’s primary hopes; the incumbent senator holds a massive lead over Bevin in the polls, and his big financial advantage is arguably even more significant.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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13 responses to “WATCH: Now Mitch McConnell Wants To ‘Fix’ Obamacare?”

  1. dana becker says:


  2. joshua88 says:

    Regardless of the outcome, I hope that the people hold Leader McConnell to it. Make him do it, beginning February 24.

  3. Lynda Groom says:

    I would certainly like to believe that Mitch actually wants to fix the parts of our failing health care system. However, he has a history of deceit that can’t be ignored. This is just more noise to protect his job. The people of Kentucky have already spoken by signing up for ObamaCare.

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      It’s funny, though. Since it has a different name, many don’t know it’s Obamacare.

      • 4sanity4all says:

        Correct, but as time goes on, I think even the most uninformed citizen will start to get a clue. I am seeing a lot more ads in Illinois now to get people to sign up, ads that were absent when the web site here was a mess. Our state supported the ACA, but due to being broke, used the Federal web site. Which was a very false economy, as it turned out. It took me about a month of persistence, but I got covered.

  4. soupgoblin says:

    It is amazing that Mitch has done a turn around in a year where he might be losing his seat… Simply amazing

  5. dana becker says:

    Gee isn’t this the same party that promised Jobs. Jobs, Jobs in 2010 and did everything but? Sorry but I do not believe one word that comes out of their mouths when they say they want to help. They lie.

  6. 1standlastword says:

    GO TO HELL etch-a-sketch BIATCH!

  7. howa4x says:

    Dr no has to scramble to a middle ground on the ACA. He can no longer get a standing ovation by just saying repeal the law. Now all the past interviews and adds that uncle Mitch made promising that he would repeal Obamacare will come back to bite him in the ass. All Grimes has to do is show these over and over and accuse him of flip flopping. This is really a message to all republicans that you just can’t yell repeal anymore, since the public is against that. This will be an awakening for republicans who have nothing else to offer.

  8. FORREST says:

    isn’t that what they themselves called “flip-flopping?”

  9. Bill says:

    What has the GOP had to offer, nothing. They had input into ACA, that’s why we don’t have single payer. The GOP has done nothing to help this country and there is nothing out there to think they will change. If put into power again they will finish what they started with Reagon, elimination of the middle class.

  10. tobyspeeks says:

    The first sentence or two are telling people they don’t have time for politics. Just sit back and trust Mitch to take care of all that for you. It’s okay to be willfully ignorant, trusty Mitch will make everything alright.

  11. 4sanity4all says:

    Luckily, since Republicans are all talk and no action, they will do exactly nothing about the ACA, and it will help people in most states, prompting the people in the states where it has been undermined to say, hey, how did I get left out?

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