Democratic Governors: How We Made Obamacare Work

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 05:21 PM

By Amy Woods

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The Affordable Care Act has enabled tens of thousands of residents in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Washington to enroll in health-insurance plans that are both affordable and attainable, the states' three governors wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

The Democratic governors, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Steve Beshear of Kentucky, and Jay Inslee of Washington, said the secret to their successes exists not on websites but in community halls.

"The Affordable Care Act has been successful in our states because our political and community leaders grasped the importance of expanding healthcare coverage and have avoided the temptation to use healthcare reform as a political football," they wrote. "In our states, elected leaders have decided to put people, not politics, first."

Connecticut's state exchange, Access Health CT, has an approval rating of more than 96 percent, according to a user survey taken in October, Malloy reported. More than 82 percent said they would recommend the plan to a friend.

In Kentucky, the expansion of Medicaid created 17,000 jobs and is expected to save the state millions of dollars, Beshear said.

The number of jobs created by the Medicaid expansion in Washington exceeds 10,000, the amount it will save the state exceeds $300 million, and it passed with bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate. Inslee wrote that Obamacare will "provide several hundred thousand uninsured Washingtonians with health coverage."

"What we all agree with completely, though, is the president's insistence that our country cannot go back to the dark days before healthcare reform, when people were regularly dropped from coverage, and those with bare-bones plans ended up in medical bankruptcy when serious illness struck, many times because their insurance didn't cover much of anything," the governors wrote.

Each went on to tell the story of a resident from his state who has benefited from the legislation.

"These sorts of stories could be happening in every state if politicians would quit rooting for failure and directly undermining implementation of the Affordable Care Act . . . " they wrote, demanding that congressional leaders "get out of the way and support efforts to make healthcare reform work for everyone."

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