- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul says school choice could expand GOP

CHICAGO (AP) - Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said voters in perennial Democratic strongholds such as Chicago and Milwaukee will think differently if they see Republicans not just visiting these places, but discussing issues pertinent to their circumstances.

That’s the thinking behind the 2016 GOP presidential prospect’s current visit to the two Midwestern metropolitan areas, where Paul said the Republican issue of school choice could appeal to minority parents.

“If people say, ‘We’re going to go out and get the African-American vote,’ that’s all good and well, but you also have to have something to say,” Paul told reporters after an hourlong talk with students and parents at a private Catholic school Tuesday on Chicago’s near north side.

“We need a few extra votes,” he said after visiting the all-girls Josephinum Academy. “We have to figure out as Republicans how to get our message to the people who favor charter schools and favor choice in schools, and say, look, we do care about your kids.”

Paul, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, has called for widening the GOP’s appeal to include more racial and ethnic minorities and younger voters, a clear majority of which President Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

Since last year, Paul has made similar trips to Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and elsewhere. He’s scheduled to talk about school choice in Milwaukee Wednesday.

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Beshear: 413,000 sign up for health care in Ky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Beth Moore left her job - and her health insurance - to start her own company in January.

In March, while visiting Texas, she had an emergency appendectomy followed by a nasty bout with pneumonia that added up to more than $30,000 in medical bills.

But Moore was one of 413,410 Kentuckians who signed up for free or subsidized health insurance through kynect, Kentucky’s state-run health insurance marketplace made possible by the federal Affordable Care Act. So far, the most she has paid for her treatment is $150.

“If I had not had insurance (it) would have been catastrophic for me,” Moore said. “I’m very grateful that I am a resident of Kentucky and that this was an option for me.”

Moore told her story alongside Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and other state officials Tuesday who were celebrating the end of the open-enrollment period of Kentucky’s health insurance marketplace. While signups on the federal website were delayed by numerous technical glitches, Kentucky’s system worked smoothly. At its peak, Beshear said, the state’s website processed more than 7,000 applications per day.

The final number is likely to grow because workers are still processing paper applications. Kynect’s next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15.

Story Continues →