A CNN host confronted a Republican congresswoman on Tuesday for dismissing some of the successes uninsured people have had in signing up for Obamacare, accusing the GOP lawmaker of rooting for the law’s failure.
The heated exchange came in response to comments made by Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY), who told CNN that his state-operated exchange, Kynect, is working well in Kentucky. “We’re signing up people at roughly a thousand a day. It’s a great rate and a great success so far,” he told on CNN’s “New Day,” describing the market as “a gold standard because it’s working.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) dismissed the state’s progress, however, insisting that Obamacare has “completely failed” and arguing that the governor is praising the program for political purposes:
ELLMERS: I know you had the clip of the governor and God bless him. He’s talking about a situation that he supports. American people cannot wait for this. There are hard working taxpayers —
CAROL COSTELLO (HOST): Was the governor joshing us? Is he not telling the truth?
ELLMERS: I’m not exactly sure it is working in Kentucky…..
COSTELLO: So the governor when he says he’s signing up 1,000 people a day and wants to get the 640,000 people in Kentucky insured, he’s just saying that for political purposes?
ELLMERS: Well, you know, let’s look again at the grand scheme of things. It is a failure at monumental levels. […]
COSTELLO: But you’re discounting everything that the Kentucky governor is saying. Instead of sitting down with him and saying, governor, let’s talk and figure this out together. Let’s figure out what’s political in what you’re saying. You’re discounting what he has to say outright.
Unable to directly respond to Kentucky’s enrollment numbers, Ellmers confronted Costello, saying, “you’re getting awfully angry about this situation!” Watch it:
Though the federal HealthCare.gov appears to face serious technical problems, state-run marketplaces like Kentucky appear adept at quickly fixing problems and are successfully enrolling people. In Kentucky, 10,766 applications for health coverage were initiated on the first day and “6,909 completed and 2,989 families were enrolled.” Nearly 150,000 New Yorkers have signed up for Obamacare and 35,528 enrollments were completed in three weeks in Washington state.
“Take a deep breath,” Beshear told CNN. “The only thing that really isn’t working right now on the federal level is the website. I’ll guarantee you that whether it’s a week from now, a month from now, two months from now, they’ll get it up and they’ll get it working. People will be signing up.”
Want to see more of this kind of reporting? Donate here.