Ex-governor defends Obamacare in response to Trump's speech

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who delivered the Democratic response to President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress tonight, argued that every Republicans' plan to replace the Affordable Care Act "would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite [Trump's] promises to the contrary."

As a strong supporter of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in his home state of Kentucky, Beshear used his record as a Democratic governor in a red state that lowered its rate of people without health insurance to offer a rebuke to Trump's push for a "repeal and replace" of the ACA.

"And even more troubling is that you and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it," Beshear said.

"[Republicans] would charge families more for fewer benefits and put insurance companies back in control," Beshear argued.

Trump had made special mention of Kentucky in his address to Congress.

"Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his state -- it is unsustainable and collapsing," Trump said in his speech tonight, referring to Beshear's Republican successor.

Beshear also mentioned one issue that Democrats have brought up as a point of concern: Russia.

"Yet, President Trump is ignoring serious threats to our national security from Russia, who's not our friend -- while alienating our allies, who've fought with us side by side and are our friends in a dangerous world," Beshear said.

"His approach makes us less safe and should worry every freedom-loving American."

Beshear went on to take a dig at Trump's executive action on immigration: "Instead, President Trump has all but declared war on refugees and immigrants."

The former governor's rebuttal also focused on Trump's Cabinet picks and Trump's attacks on the media and the judiciary, among other points.

"President Trump also needs to understand that people may disagree with him from time to time -- but that doesn't make them his enemies," said Beshear, throwing a jab at Trump's comment that the media is the "enemy of the American people."

"When the president attacks the loyalty and credibility of our intelligence agencies, the court system, the military, the free press and individual Americans -- simply because he doesn't like what they say -- he is eroding our democracy," Beshear said. "And that's reckless."

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