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Grimes defends Obamacare as job creator in Kentucky

by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 1:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- While explaining several problems she has with the Affordable Care Act, Alison Lundergan Grimes defended President Obama's health care overhaul on Tuesday, saying it will add jobs and federal dollars to Kentucky and that Congress should not "throw the baby out with the bathwater."

"There are 640,000 Kentuckians who previously did not have access to insurance," the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate said after addressing supporters at the Kentucky State Fair.  "And as Senator McConnell himself has acknowledged, there are some good things.  But, we don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater."

The ACA will bring billions of federal dollars and create 17,000 jobs in Kentucky, Grimes said. 

The comments are Grimes' first to reporters since the Fancy Farm picnic's political speeches two and a half weeks ago.  She has made several public appearances as Secretary of State, however.

As the debate rages in Congress whether to defund or delay implementation of "Obamacare," Grimes said she would not delay all of the law, just parts of it.

"That starts with, I've told you before, making sure we are streamlining the process so we are not over-regulating especially our small businesses," Grimes said, "that we are working to make sure that the employer mandate is implemented the right way."

"And this is why it's a good thing because we want to incentivize employers to provide coverage," Grimes continued.  "We don't them cutting hours or worse, cutting employees.  And we're going to have to work to provide for the shortfall of physicians we're going to need to provide this universal access."

Grimes called the push to repeal the landmark legislation, "empty sound bites."

Appearing with her mother and grandmother on Senior Citizen Day at the Kentucky State Fair, the event marked the campaign’s first 'Grannies for Grimes' event.

Grimes' grandmother, Elsie Case led the crowd in a plea to "Switch" from five-term Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell (R), the Senate Minority Leader.  Case pegged Grimes' chances at winning the Senate at "100 percent."

"This is an initiative to make sure we are keeping our promises to Kentucky seniors," Grimes said.  "Our honored citizens that we are standing up to protect the promises of Social Security and Medicare."

Because the ACA cuts an estimated $700 Billion from Medicare over the next ten years by changing Medicare payment formulas, Republicans argue Obamacare will hurt senior citizens.
Grimes was asked whether she also believes that the law adversely affects seniors.

"As I've said before, I'm troubled with certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act," Grimes said.  "But we're here at the state fair and if there's three reasons why Kentuckians, especially our seniors, need access to affordable health care coverage.  You just have to look over to the right where you see the donut burger, the chili cheese-steak and the covered french fries that are here."

Asked her opinion of a new McConnell campaign television commercial slamming GOP challenger Matt Bevin, Grimes said her campaign is engaged in reaching out to all Kentuckians, including Republicans.  Bevin disputes the ad's allegation that he misled people about his education on his LinkedIn online profile.  Bevin once listed his education as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because he had attended an entrepreneurial program on an MIT campus.

"I think that Kentuckians aren't focused on lines on a resume," Grimes said about the controversy.  "They're worried about the lines in an unemployment line.  And they want to have a senator who stands up, actually has a voice fighting for Kentuckians, not against them."