In a New York Times op-ed published on Thursday, Kentucky’s governor calls on politicians to put the health of their citizens above the partisan fighting over Obamacare. Democratic Governor Steve Beshear notes that the health reform law could have a huge impact on the struggling Americans who live in red states, and he’s “offended” that so many state leaders are so preoccupied with resisting it.
"SUNDAY morning news programs identify Kentucky as the red state with two high-profile Republican senators who claim their rhetoric represents an electorate that gave President Obama only about a third of its presidential vote in 2012.
So why then is Kentucky — more quickly than almost any other state — moving to implement the Affordable Care Act?
Because there’s a huge disconnect between the rank partisanship of national politics and the outlook of governors whose job it is to help beleaguered families, strengthen work forces, attract companies and create a balanced budget."
Kentucky’s own senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are two of the most vocal opponents of health reform. Paul is currently endorsing an extremist right-wing strategy to force the government to shut down unless Obamacare is defunded.
“There’s a huge disconnect between the rank partisanship of national politics and the outlook of governors whose job it is to help beleaguered families, strengthen work forces, attract companies and create a balanced budget,” Beshear writes. He points out that “it’s no coincidence” that the handful of Republican governors who have bucked their party and agreed to implement Obamacare’s provisions (Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan) see the health law “not as a referendum on President Obama but as a tool for historic change.”