‘Obamacare’ Ads to Begin Airing in Mitch McConnell’s Home State

Chris Frates
May 24, 2013

As part of the multimillion-dollar implementation of "Obamacare," the health exchange where Kentucky residents can shop for insurance will launch a media campaign next month, and the state’s senior Republican is none too pleased about it.

“Kentuckians don’t want the government spending their hard-earned tax dollars on a PR campaign for a law most of them want to see repealed,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement to National Journal.

It’s a preview of the kind of rhetorical warfare that will only heat up as the Affordable Care Act comes online over the next 18 months and Republicans bash the law every step of the way. That will hold particularly true in the Senate, where McConnell is betting that running against Obamacare in 2014 can win him control of the chamber.

But, for now, there’s little McConnell can do to stop it.

The federal government approved $4.7 million this year and another $6.6 million next year for required branding, public education, and outreach around the exchange, explained Gwenda Bond of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The campaign will include paid television, radio, and print advertisements.

“We are doing a lot of television because [in Kentucky] ... it’s still the best way to reach a mass audience,” Bond said. “We believe that widespread education is needed to ensure that Kentuckians understand how the exchange works and what it offers in advance of open enrollment this fall.”