Ky. governor: ObamaCare criticism will backfire on McConnell in 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's criticism of President Obama's healthcare reform law will haunt him in next year's mid-term elections, the governor of Kentucky predicted Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear (Ky.) said the law is benefitting people across the state, who will remember those benefits as they head to the polls next November.

"I have a U.S. senator who keeps saying, 'Kentuckians don't want this.' Well, the facts don't prove that out," Beshear said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

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"I predict it will be an issue, where people start looking at the critics and saying, 'What was all that yelling and screaming about? I think you must have misinformed us about the Affordable Care Act.' "

McConnell (R-Ky.), who is facing a tough reelection bid in 2014, has been among the sharpest critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dedicating time on the chamber floor to hammer the law on an almost daily basis.

The disastrous rollout of the federal website for enrolling in insurance plans has given Republicans plenty of fodder for attacking the underlying law, and they've been relentless in doing so.

"The American people have been learning about the impact ObamaCare will have on individuals and families in the form of higher premiums, disrupted insurance and lost jobs — more broken promises from the administration," McConnell said recently. "And they're becoming increasingly aware of the fact ObamaCare is broken beyond repair."

Kentucky is among the states that opted to launch a Web portal for residents to enroll in private insurance plans under the law. Beshear said that, to date, more than 550,000 people have visited Kentucky’s website, while an additional 180,000 have called the phone number dedicated to providing access to eligible plans. More than 69,000 Kentuckians have already signed up, he said.

"There is a tremendous pent up demand in Kentucky for affordable healthcare, and to me, that translates across America," Beshear said. "People are hungry for it."

Beshear's comments came after he a meeting with House Democrats, many of whom are furious with the administration's implementation of the ACA and fear the repercussions at the polls next year.

The Kentucky governor said he delivered a simple message.

"My main message to the House caucus today was a message that's tough for folks to listen to when you've got elections coming up, but it's simply this: 'Be patient; take a deep breath," he said. "Because I'll guarantee you that by next November [the ACA] is going to look a lot different than it does on the Hill right now."