Ky. Democrats Protest GOP Motion on Healthcare Exchanges

Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 01:07 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Kentucky Democrats walked out of a legislative hearing Wednesday in protest of a Republican motion challenging Gov. Steve Beshear’s authority to set up Obamacare-required health insurance exchanges.
The GOP state lawmakers claim Beshear overstepped his authority by setting up the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, calling his actions illegal, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Democratic lawmakers said they walked out of the hearing because Republicans were trying to undermine a part of the Obamacare law the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld.
“It’s okay to voice your opinion, but this is the law now,” said state Rep. Tom Burch.
Democratic Rep. Kelly Flood, likewise, said she would not “go along with this charade” as she left the hearing with other members of her party.
When the Democrats were gone, the motion passed on a vote by Republicans left in the room.
In response, Beshear said he has a responsibility to follow the law and enforce it, and made it clear that he intends to do so.
“The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land,” the Democratic governor said. “There are hard deadlines that the state must meet in order to not only comply with the law, but also to ensure that the state runs its own health benefits exchange, not the federal government.”
The governor has already appointed an  advisory board to provide recommendations for the exchange, which will begin operating in 2014.

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