Yesterday, my home state – well the 30% of us who voted – elected Republican Matt Bevin to be our governor for the next 4 years. It was a sad day for
Kentucky me because I can’t help but be angry over the ridiculously low voter turnout (30.7%). I understand that it’s an off-year election and no federal races were on the ballot but come on people! This essentially means that our next governor will take office because 16.2% of our registered voters cast a ballot for Bevin. It’s disgusting.
Bevin may still have won the election even if every Kentuckian had voted yesterday. That scenario would have been a lot easier to digest.
However, low voter turnout usually works to the advantage of Republicans because groups that are likely to vote red – old, white, wealthy people – tend to turn out at higher rates than young, nonwhite, lower income voters – who are more likely to vote Democrat. Not to mention that we close our polls at 6 p.m. which makes it difficult for working class voters to make it to their voting stations.
Okay. There’s no use crying over spilled milk, right? He won and there’s nothing I can do about it. Let me just get my concerns off of my chest and my rant will be over.
We just put a man in office who yelled at a secretary in the Kentucky Democratic Party headquarters because there was a sign outside that read “You still can’t trust Matt Bevin.” We put a man in office who supported Kim Davis’ arrogant defiance of a court order. We put a man in office who – for some unknown reason – lied about being educated at MIT. A man who attended and spoke at a rally to legalize cockfighting. A man who has continually not paid property taxes – lied about it – and refused to produce his tax returns.
Do you see a trend there? Whether you agree with his politics or not, the man seems to have a difficult time with the truth.
My biggest concern, though, is with Bevin’s position on health insurance and how many people’s lives it will potentially affect.
Despite our current governor Steve Beshear’s popularity, Bevin campaigned against his record and his signature achievement: the creation of KYnect, one of the state health-insurance exchanges formed as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel referred to Kentuckians’ divergent views of Obamacare and KYnect as “one of the great paradoxes of American politics.”
While Kentucky conservatives have been brainwashed to hate Barack Obama – and therefore hate Obamacare – they sure loved the expansion of Medicaid plans offered on the KYnect exchange – which was the direct result of Obamacare. As a result, our uninsured rate went from 20.4% all the way down to 9%. How can anyone think that this is a bad thing? Our new governor sure does. He has promised to shut down KYnect and transfer those on it to the federal exchange, as well as reverse expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. This will directly affect 400,000 Kentuckians who qualified under Medicaid expansion and an additional 100,000 who received health insurance through KYnect. Half a million of our neighbors may go to sleep one night with health care and wake up the next morning without it.
HBO’s John Oliver said it best.
“Kentucky has seen the nation’s steepest drop in uninsured residents. Only an idiot would try to undo that.” Well, we just put that idiot into the governor’s mansion.