Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP KY Governor win sets up ACA fight

Dave Weigel:

The disconnect between “Obamacare” and “KYnect” was one of the great paradoxes of American politics. In polls, Kentucky voters rejected “Obamacare” at roughly the rate they rejected the president, 2-1. But they were fond of KYnect, which Beshear created by executive order, bypassing a gridlocked Kentucky legislature. Month by month, Kentuckians took advantage of the state’s Medicaid expansion or the plans offered on the exchange, and the state’s uninsured rate plummeted from 20.4 percent to 9 percent. Beshear predicted that “the Democratic nominee will make this a major issue and will pound the Republicans into the dust with it.”
On Tuesday night, it was the Democrats eating dust. Attorney General Jack Conway, who was expected to replace Beshear, lost in a rout to Tea Party activist Matt Bevin. Conway defended KYnect; Bevin called it a disaster. While his prescription for changing it shifted, he ended

race with a promise to undo Kentucky’s successful experiment.

“I plan to use the open enrollment period in 2016 to transition people from the state-level exchange to the federal exchange,” Bevin told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week. “Once all are transitioned, I would shut down the exchange.” When it came to Medicaid, Bevin pledged to “repeal the expansion as it currently exists, and seek a Section 1115 waiver from the Center for Medicaid Services.”

Karyn Bruggeman (Oct 21):

“The goal would be to get a waiver ap­proved pri­or to 2017, when the state starts to pick up our share of the Medi­caid ex­pan­sion,” [Bevin spokesperson Jessica] Ditto said. “However, that is a lofty goal, giv­en all the mov­ing parts and the need for in­sur­ance com­pan­ies to de­vel­op new plans based on new stand­ards.”
Bev­in’s cam­paign stands by state­ments that they would re­peal Medi­caid ex­pan­sion, but con­trary to charges that they would kick 440,000 people off Medi­caid im­me­di­ately, Ditto said it should be noted that un­til that fed­er­al ap­prov­al is gran­ted for a waiver plan, the de­tails of which they would hope to craft with the le­gis­lature and vari­ous stake­hold­ers, “We would con­tin­ue to op­er­ate un­der the cur­rent Medi­caid con­struct so that people could stay covered.”

Ditto said the goal is that when those covered un­der Medi­caid ex­pan­sion go to re-en­roll, they would be offered a new plan un­der a waiver agree­ment “that will re­quire more skin in the game and that cer­tain re­quire­ments are met to con­tin­ue eli­gib­il­ity.”

Both Con­way and the Be­s­hear ad­min­is­tra­tion point to re­ports show­ing waiver plans like the ones Bev­in’s pro­pos­ing would res­ult in high­er costs and less ex­tens­ive cov­er­age, and Be­s­hear him­self says it’s one reas­on why he has been cam­paign­ing so hard to elect a Demo­crat­ic suc­cessor.

The Daily Kos Elections liveblog from last night has more.

More politics and policy below the fold.

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