Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear speaks during a press conference after a closed joint whip and caucus meeting on the Affordable Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 5, 2013.
Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear: The term ‘Obamacare’ inspires ‘partisan reaction’


Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear claimed Tuesday that his state’s success with President Barack Obama’s health care reform law is thanks, in part, to avoiding calling it “Obamacare.”

Speaking at a panel in Washington, sponsored by Enroll America, Beshear said the word “Obamacare” “has been demonized,” according to Talking Points Memo.

“When you say, ‘Obamacare,’ it creates the immediate partisan reaction,” Beshear said, according to TPM. Kentucky’s health care exchange is called “Kynect.”

Beshear added that some Kentucky residents embraced Kynect without being fully aware that it was made possible by Obamacare, according to The Washington Times.

But the health care law has done well in Kentucky. More than 413,000 residents, or 10% of the state’s population, have signed up for Obamacare since its rollout on Oct. 1, 2013.

Beshear made similar comments in April on msnbc, where he said that critics have “poisoned” the term “Obamacare.” But referring to the law as “the Affordable Care Act” references the possible benefits for insured Americans, he said.

The Ed Show, 4/23/14, 9:08 PM ET

Kentucky healthcare success big Democratic boost

In Trenders, festival organizers want to bring “Burning Man” to Bundy Ranch. Clawson’s cash helps win the GOP primary in Florida 19. Ed Schultz and Gov. Steve Beshear discuss KY-nects health care success.

Republicans, some of whom oppose the law, support health care reform in greater numbers when it is referred to as “the Affordable Care Act” rather than “Obamacare,” a Fox News poll released in September 2013 found. 

The president met his target for enrollments by April when officials reported that more than 7 million people had signed up for Obamacare through federal exchanges. The figures came after a disastrous rollout of the now-infamous health care exchange website, which initially prevented millions of Americans from registering for insurance plans.

Health Care, Health Care Policy, Kentucky, Obamacare and Steve Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear: The term 'Obamacare' inspires 'partisan reaction'