McConnell suggests ObamaCare exchange could survive repeal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is suggesting that Kentucky's health insurance exchange could survive repeal of ObamaCare, the law that created the marketplace.

In a statement, McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said Kentucky should "decide for itself whether to keep" the exchange "or set up a different marketplace" if the healthcare law is repealed.

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The comment follows criticism of McConnell last week for arguing that Kentucky's exchange, known as Kynect, is not connected to the Affordable Care Act.

The healthcare law created a system of exchanges, including Kynect, where consumers in each state can purchase coverage, often while receiving assistance from the government.

In addition to providing a unified way of comparing plans, the exchanges are connected to federal subsidies that are intended to make health policies cheaper.

Those subsidies would disappear if ObamaCare were repealed, even if Kentucky kept its exchange.

Moore's statement was made to WFPL News in Louisville.

"Kentuckians shouldn't have been forced to lose the plans they had and liked, shouldn't have seen their premiums skyrocket, shouldn't have had their Medicare cut, and shouldn't have had their taxes raised because of President Obama and his friends in Washington forced it down their throats," she said.

McConnell is facing a challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in a race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year. He is pivoting to a general election fight against Grimes after crushing his Republican primary challenger last week.

He called for an investigation Tuesday after reports suggested the government-made subsidy payments under ObamaCare that were incorrect.

Grimes has embraced Kynect but has declined to say whether she would have voted for ObamaCare in 2010. 

— This story was updated at 6:29 p.m.