A CNN host got into a heated exchange Tuesday with a Republican congresswoman who demanded results from Obamacare but dismissed positive results cited by Kentucky’s governor.
Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, said on CNN’s “New Day” that Kentucky had been signing up about 1,000 residents each day on the state’s Kynect website, which has been garnering praise since it launched Oct. 1.
But Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) refused to recognize the state’s results, even as she insisted to host that Carol Costello that she wanted to see some results from the Affordable Care Act.
“I know you had the clip of the governor, and God bless him,” Ellmers said. “He’s talking about a situation that he supports. American people cannot wait for this. There are hard-working taxpayers –”
Costello interrupted to ask Ellmers if she thought Beshear was being truthful or just “joshing us.”
“I’m not exactly sure it is working in Kentucky,” Ellmers said, and Costello asked if she thought the governor’s statistics were cooked up for political purposes.
“Well, you know, let’s look at again the grand scheme of things,” Ellmers said. “It is a failure at monumental levels.”
Costello played another video clip of Beshear, who said that he’s encouraged his state’s residents to visit the Kynect website and see if they like it.
“That’s what’s happening,” Beshear said. “They are finding that they can get affordable health coverage for the first time in their lives. I’ll guarantee you, about a year from now, they’re going to look back at these critics, including a lot of these senators and representatives, and they’re going to say, ‘You misled us, because, hey, this works. I’ve got affordable health care.’”
Costello suggested that Republicans who are concerned about the online exchange rollout sit down with Beshear and other Kentucky officials to determine what they’d done right so their success could be copied elsewhere.
But Ellmers ignored her question, and said that a similar program to Obamacare she said had failed in Tennessee.
She claimed that program, TennCare, had lasted about 12 years before state officials “were able to erase the whole entire thing.”
“I’m looking at results, (and) the results are right now, the Obamacare exchange rollout has been a complete failure, a total embarrassment,” Ellmers said.
Costello again presses Ellmers to address Beshear’s statistics, but the Republican instead makes the discussion personal.
“You’re getting awfully angry about this situation,” Ellmers said. “I hate that you’re in this position.”
The congresswoman says she wouldn’t mind seeing someone fired for the botched rollout of the federal exchange website, but she says the whole Affordable Care Act must be scrapped.
“Let’s put affordable health care forward for all Americans, let’s put something together that really will work, not something that’s dead on arrival already,” said Ellmers, who did not offer details for such a plan.
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