Beshear, McConnell Turn Ham Breakfast Into Health Care Debate

Aug 22, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The annual Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast at the State Fair in Louisville is usually an occasion where politicians put aside their differences and make nice.  Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear must have missed the memo because the two squared off in a heated debate about the federal health-care law.

The governor said Thursday the Affordable Care Act will work in Kentucky.

Beshear said the law will improve Kentucky's health problems, which include some of the nation's worst rates for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

McConnell, the Senate's top-ranking Republican, said the law is driving up health insurance premiums and forcing employers to reduce working hours for many employees. McConnell said the law should be repealed.

The long-time political adversaries spoke from the same head table at the event in Louisville.

An off-shoot of the health care law is the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. It will help arrange insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Kentuckians.