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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Kentucky's Experience with the Affordable Care Act

Interview

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GOV. STEVE BESHEAR, (D) KENTUCKY: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: You bet. How important are these latest enrollment numbers and how important is it for the country, the story that Kentucky has to tell, 402,000.

BESHEAR: Ed, it`s been an overwhelming success here and this is Mid America. This is really where the rubber meets the road. We`re out here in the middle of the country. We`re not wrapped up and all the Washington, D.C. staff that goes on everyday, people are just out here working, making a living. And we`ve got 402,000 people who come out on the woodworks since October 1 and signed up for affordable health insurance.

I mean, there`s a craving out here for affordable healthcare. Families are looking to finally be able to take their kids in and to let them see a doctor. You know, we`ve had people for years getting up everyday, going to work, and just hoping and praying they don`t get sick because they know they`re one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy, and now, we`ve got 402,000 of them who don`t ever have to have that worry again.

SCHULTZ: This is one big opportunity for America and it`s going to take time, but I think that this has been a great six months for the country. How does it make you feel, governor, when you hear Mitch McConnell say things totally different from you from the same state?

BESHEAR: Ed, I think that he and Rand Paul get in the room by themselves and talk to each other and then they go out and announce that they`ve been talking to the people in Kentucky and they don`t like this. Well, the numbers tell a different story. And we -- 402,000 people apparently like this and they -- we signed up 30,000 just in the last seven days.

So, you know, it`s a different story. It`s working here. People want it. These folks, you know, they`re boarding on this issue and that`s all they`ve got .

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

BESHEAR: . and they know that. And so, they`re going to try to make it as big as they can. But, I`ll tell you, the issue that`s going to beat Mitch McConnell this fall. It`s going to be just what you talked about, Ed, the obstructionism. And people here are sick and tired of it in Washington, D.C.

The latest poll that came out, you know, the president`s not very popular here, 34 percent. Well, guess who`s at 32 percent, Mitch McConnell.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

BESHEAR: I mean, people are sick and tired of him and they`re sick and tired of this ranked partisanship that has Washington in his grips.

SCHULTZ: Alison Grimes is running on fixing Obamacare. Now, you could fix any law in Washington. Is there enough good in Obamacare in the state exchange for her to be able to be successful to defeat Mitch McConnell?

BESHEAR: I sure think so, Ed. I mean, let`s face it. People here are liking what they`re funding when they go on our exchange, when they go on our telephone toll free line and sign up. I mean, people come up to me everyday, many of them with tears in their eyes to say "Thank you. Thank you for finally letting me get affordable healthcare for myself and my family." The first time they`ve ever had it.

You know, in the generation here, Ed, it`s going to make a huge difference for our people. We`ve got horrible health statistics right now and they`ve been horrible ever since they started keeping health statistics. Finally, this tool is going to let us transform the history of Kentucky in terms of health care.

SCHULTZ: Governor Steve Beshear, great work. You`re leading the country. There`s no question about it. I appreciate your time here on the program tonight, thanks so much. We`ll do it again.

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