"She's been dodging it for a year," McConnell said Friday. "She's been in this race for a year. It's time for her to answer the question, "How do you feel about it?" Wednesday, Grimes twice refused to say how she would have voted on the 2010 law if she had been a senator.
|McConnell speaks at half-hour press conference.|
(Associated Press photo by Timothy D. Easley)
Asked if he would dismantle the state exchanges created under the law, McConnell said he would have created a national market -- "tear down the walls, the 50 separate silos in which health insurance is sold" -- passed medical-malpractice reform, and allowed small businesses to "band together in this international [sic] market."
Asked again, specifically, if he would shut down Kentucky's exchange, which is branded as Kynect, he said "I think that's unconnected to my comments about the overall question here."
While polls have shown the law to be unpopular in Kentucky, a small plurality of voters in a recent poll had a favorable opinion of Kynect. Last fall, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that people who weren't sure how the law would affect them and their families had an unfavorable opinion of it, while those who said they did know how it would affect them had a favorable opinion.
In his overall comments about the law, McConnell said a Congressional Budget Office study has predicted that full implementation of the law would still leave 30 million Americans uninsured, covering only 10 million. "What is the cost-benefit ratio of this kind of destruction, this kind of impact, on 16 percent of the economy?" he asked. "The people of this state are entitled to know the answer to the question, 'How do you feel about it?' and I think my opponent has tried to dodge that question."
Asked if repealing the law would be his top priority as majority leader if Republicans take control of the Senate, he said he wasn't ready to say because he's not in the majority yet, "but I think it's reasonable to assume that would be a high priority for us." He noted that Obama will be president until January 2017, an implicit acknowledgement that Obama would veto any repeal and two-thirds votes of the House and Senate would be required to override him.