The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Kentucky’s Affordable Care Act online health exchange signed up 32,485 Kentuckians in its first month of operation, according to the office of Governor Steve Beshear. This reduces the state’s uninsured population — estimated at 640,000 — by just over 5 percent.

Of those enrolled, 27,854 people signed up for Medicaid and 4,631 picked a private plan.

In contrast, Romneycare — the Massachusetts health care plan the Affordable Care Act is modeled upon — enrolled just 123 people in its first month.

The Bay State already had a very generous Medicaid program before its reforms but the first month’s enrollees ended up being only .7 percent of the residents who eventually signed up, which is comparable to the .7 percent of Kentucky’s uninsured population that has already picked a private plan.


Red Kentucky has been the model of a state that has rolled out the Affordable Care Act in the way it was intended — with its own exchange and Medicaid expansion. This success is largely the result of the efforts of one man — Democrat Beshear, who in his last term is looking to cement his legacy, according to The Daily Beast‘s Jonathan Miller:

Over the past several months, Beshear used his broad executive powers to bypass resistance from the GOP-controlled state Senate to ensure that the Commonwealth is the only Southern state that both expanded its Medicaid rolls and opened up a health benefit exchange, providing access to affordable health care to our more than 640,000 uninsured citizens. And while the federal launch of the program has been plagued with technical difficulties, Kentucky’s experience has been exemplary:  In its first day, 10,766 applications for health coverage were initiated, 6,909 completed and 2,989 families were enrolled. Obama himself bragged that Kentucky led the nation with its glitch-minimized performance.

Whatever Beshear’s motivations, his state is showing that reform can rapidly reduce the number of the uninsured when properly implemented.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a "chilling" statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

"The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!" Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although Florida is a swing state, it has become a hotbed of MAGA extremism — from Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz to former President Donald Trump's operation at a Mar-a-Lago. But not everyone in Florida politics appreciates Trumpism or the Big Lie. And the bipartisan Florida Supervisors of Elections, according to Politico's Gary Fineout, are sending out a message urging political candidates to "tone down the rhetoric and stand up for our democracy."

Fineout notes that "the association is made up of members of both parties, and (its) current president is a Republican: Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}