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Grimes Twice Refuses to Say Whether She Would Have Voted for Obamacare

Alison Lundergan Grimes / AP
• May 21, 2014 6:50 pm

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Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes twice refused to answer whether she would have supported Obamacare Wednesday, the Associated Press reports:

Asked two times whether she'd have voted for the 2010 overhaul, the Kentucky Democrat who is challenging Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told The Associated Press: "I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act."

Grimes added: "I believe the politically motivated response you continue to see from Mitch McConnell in terms of repeal, root and branch, is not in reality or keeping … with what the facts are here in Kentucky."

The law Republicans call "Obamacare" presents a delicate issue for Grimes, who won the Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday. Kynect, Kentucky's state-run health insurance exchange made possible by the law, is wildly popular. More than 400,000 people have either signed up for an expanded Medicaid program or purchased private insurance plans with the help of government subsidies.

The issue will be a key one in her race to unseat McConnell, with both Obamacare and President Obama unpopular among state voters:

"It's a big deal for us. Because I can't stand the president," said Edna "Tag" Pearson, a Republican who voted in Tuesday's GOP primary. "It was wrong from the get-go."

But sensitive to the political power of Kentuckians benefiting from the law, Grimes stood by it.

"I am not and will not be for taking away insurance that 400,000 Kentuckians just recently got access to," she said.

Another Democrat seeking the U.S. Senate, Michelle Nunn in Georgia, also hedged painfully on whether she'd have supported the law when it was passed.