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Politics

Former Kentucky governor says Republicans want to 'rip' insurance away from millions

Democratic former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear defended the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday after President Donald Trump's slamming of the health-care law in his first speech to a joint session of Congress.

In his party's response to Trump's address, Beshear argued that Republicans "seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who need it." Beshear criticized Republican efforts to repeal and replace the law, known as Obamacare, and their proposed solutions to replace it.

"Does the Affordable Care Act need some repairs? Sure it does. But so far, every Republican idea to "replace" the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite promises to the contrary," he said from a diner in Lexington, Kentucky.

Beshear served as the red state's governor from late 2007 to late 2015, and Democrats looked to use his experience to aim to show voters that the law can work. Under the Affordable Care Act, the state's uninsured rate fell to 7.5 percent from 20 percent, according to Vox.

Republicans have made health-care reform their top legislative priority in the new administration, but so far have had a tough time unraveling the complex system. They also face political pressure because millions could lose insurance without a viable replacement.

Beshear argued that GOP plans would "charge families more for fewer benefits and put insurance companies back in control."

"Mr. President, folks here in Kentucky expect you to keep your word. Because this isn't a game — it's life and death for people," Bashear said.

In his address, Trump called on Congress to repeal and replace the ACA. He said he seeks "reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs and at the same time, provide better health care."

Trump argued that the law is "collapsing."

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