THE BLOG
10/23/2013 08:30 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Affordable Care Act Will Defeat Mitch McConnell's Reelection Bid

Thanks to Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky is one of the few southern states that has embraced the Affordable Care Act. Kentucky accepted the expansion of Medicaid and established its own private insurance exchange.

There are 640,000 uninsured in Kentucky of which about half will receive coverage by the expansion of Medicaid.

The other half will get private insurance, often with substantial subsidies, through the exchange (called "Kynect"). In the first week, 11,000 people signed up on the exchange, a rate that would enroll 260,000.

Let us make some rough estimates. Assume half of those who get health insurance are 18 years old or older. Let us further assume that two-thirds of those eligible will know that insurance is available to them and will sign up.

That would mean 240,000 voting age Kentuckians who will have health care insurance due to the Affordable Care Act.

Until Ted Cruz (R/TP-TX) usurped his role, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was the face of Republican obstruction. His notorious statement that his major goal was to deny President Obama a second term will remind people of his key role.

Perhaps even more importantly, McConnell has opposed the Affordable Care Act time-and-time-and-time again. It is not vague or ambiguous. He cannot trim, dissemble or "walk-it-back."

The 240,000 people who will have health care insurance for the first time will not be hard to convince that McConnell wants nothing more than to take it away from them. General appeals to encourage their registration, along with voter registration efforts, should be quite successful. "Big Data" capabilities enable the identification of those, for example, likely not to have had insurance, and for targeted efforts to reach them.

McConnell won his last election in 2008 handily, by 106,000 votes. A concerted get-out-the-vote campaign focused on the 240,000 could result in 80 percent of them voting, i.e., another 190,000 votes for Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is a very impressive candidate and would have made it a very close election anyhow.

The president whose defeat was McConnell's major reason for existence will be directly responsible for McConnell's demise. And the delicious irony is that it will be Obamacare that will be the nail in McConnell's political coffin.

After 2014, Mitch McConnell will not darken the doorposts of the Senate again.

Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?