- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:


Oct. 10

The Daily Independent on Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to take into account the damage Donald Trump’s brutish campaign is inflicting on the Republican Party and its candidates for Congress.

Speaker Paul Ryan did just that after Sunday’s presidential debate by telling Republican lawmakers he will no longer defend or campaign with Trump, focusing instead on retaining the GOP majority in the House.

McConnell needs to follow suit as one of the nation’s most influential Republicans. Condemning Trump’s vulgar statements on women and others is not enough. He needs to step forward and unequivocally abandon his pretend support for Trump.

He can do so by saying he won’t vote for Trump, a statement made by his colleague, Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the third ranking member of the GOP.

McConnell is not up for re-election but several of his fellow Republicans are across the country and, as their leader in the Senate, he owes it to them to dissociate the party they represent from Trump’s flawed character and crumbling wildcat campaign.

McConnell notes he is the proud father of three daughters, and didn’t mince words in calling on Trump to “apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women” in the graphic video tape that had Trump saying he is able to do anything to women because of his fame.

Well, Mitch, he hasn’t really done that. Trump says the taped comments were just “locker room talk” and that he has apologized to his family and voters for the crude comments. He cannot bring himself to apologize directly to women and girls, boldly declaring at the debate no one respects women more than he does.

Well, we don’t believe him and we don’t think the vast majority of American voters do either. The evidence of Trump’s misogynic attitude is plentiful, including comments about his own daughter while bantering with Howard Stern on the radio personality’s sexually explicit show more than 20 years ago.

Do the right thing, Mitch. Drop any notion of support for Donald Trump. Disown him and his campaign of destruction.




Oct. 11

The Bowling Green Daily News on Kentucky’s transition to the federal health insurance exchange:

There has been little information disseminated to the public regarding Kentucky’s transition from kynect to the federal health insurance exchange.

That is troubling since the transition is reportedly set to occur on Nov. 1. This month, the federal government approved Kentucky’s plans to dissolve its health exchange. The exchange has been held up as a model of success to the rest of the country but was something Gov. Matt Bevin vowed to dismantle even before being elected.

Bevin followed through with his plans and the U.S. Cabinet for Health and Human Services approved the move, with a caveat from an HHS employee saying that it was important that the transition be clearly explained to consumers.

That was Oct. 4, and there still has not been information released by Bevin’s office to the media about how the transition is going to work.

Kynect, regardless of where you fall in supporting it, had a massive campaign to inform Kentuckians how to avail themselves of the system and people were paid as kynectors to help Kentuckians get into the system. Kentucky now has the smallest uninsured population it has ever had. Health care workers and other health advocates worry that is something that will change during a transition period that is not clearly outlined.

According to some reports, Kentucky will actually still have an exchange but will be using the federal Healthcare.gov as an enrollment platform.

For consumers to consider, there also is the contraction of the Kentucky health insurance market. Aetna, WellCare, Baptist Health and UnitedHealthcare won’t offer individual health plans for 2017, according to the website healthinruance.org.

Adding to that worry is uncertainty about what will happen with the state’s Medicaid program. Bevin has asked for the feds to approve exemptions for the program that includes requiring people to pay for such things as vision and dental care with reward money they have earned either by working or doing community volunteer work and requiring sliding scale premiums. Bevin has said Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid would only be maintained if the waiver was approved. The comment period on Bevin’s application ended Saturday.

What will happen in either scenario, and the full impact, needs to be clearly explained to Kentuckians.




Oct. 11

The Lexington Herald-Leader on women in local government:

Although Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has had two female mayors and three female vice mayors, it wasn’t until last week that women had ever constituted a majority of the Urban County Council.

Great, even if late.

The U.S. Census reports that women make up 50.8 percent of the Lexington-Fayette population. According to the state board of elections, they make up 53.8 percent of the county’s registered voters.

Women reached the council majority when Kathy Plomin was sworn in to represent the 12th District. Plomin was in a race to replace incumbent Russ Hensley who abruptly resigned from the council and the race last month.

Only one seat remains contested this fall but both candidates are female; so the eight-women, seven-men balance on the council will not change.

Also encouraging in the long, long battle for women to achieve equal representation in public office: Lou Anna Red Corn as the Fayette commonwealth’s attorney, the first woman to ever serve as the county’s top prosecutor.

Red Corn, a veteran on prosecutor’s staff, was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to serve out the term of Ray Larson who retired after almost 32 years in the job.

Fayette County remains an outlier in Kentucky, where women still constitute a distinct minority among public office holders.

As we noted here earlier this year, in the Kentucky General Assembly, only four of 38 Senators, 10.5 percent, are female and 18 of 100 members of the House. The U.S. Congress is 19.4 percent female which, although better than Kentucky, is still far shy of proportional representation.



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