Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

August 26, 2013

Ham and politics

McConnell and Beshear spar over the value of Obamacare

ASHLAND — Politics has always played a role at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual Kentucky Ham Breakfast at the state fair in Louisville, but politicking is a minor and usually much more civil part of the breakfast than it is at the annual Fancy Farm picnic earlier in August.

Nevertheless, with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Gov. Steve Beshear both attending the breakfast, they could not resist doing a little political sparring. The subject was the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. While Congress takes a break from doing nothing, McConnell has been touring Kentucky saying Obamacare was a terrible law that had to be repealed. His tour included a brief stop at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, where administrators indicated they did not think the law was a bad as the senator claims.  

With both McConnell and Beshear seated at the head table at Thursday’s 50th annual Kentucky County Ham Breakfast, their confrontation was brief but rather heated. Beshear, a Democrat who has often disagreed with fellow Democrat Obama, said the law will improve Kentucky’s health problems, which include some of the nation’s worst rates for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. An off-shoot of the health-care law is the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. It will help arrange insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Kentuckians, the governor said.

McConnell, the Senate’s top-ranking Republican, said the law is driving up health insurance premiums and forcing employers to reduce working hours for many employees. McConnell said the law should be repealed.

The exchange caused auctioneer Denetta Allen to remind McConnell and Beshear of the purpose of the breakfast: To auction the fair’s grand champion ham and raise thousands of dollars for charity.

“Enough with the small talk. Let’s have an auction,” Allen told the sellout crowd of 1,600, which included politicians, university presidents, business executives and lobbyists.

The 13.3-pound ham, produced by Harper’s Country Hams in Clinton, was presented on a silver platter adorned with red roses. It was showcased by the reigning Miss Kentucky, Jenna Day, who carried the platter among the bidders to give them a close look at the prized meat.

The winning bid of $350,000 — amounting to about $26,315 per pound — came from the Yum Brands Foundation, the charitable arm of fast-food company Yum Brands Inc., which is headquartered in Louisville. It was the third-highest offer ever from a single bidder and the fifth-highest bid in the auction’s history.

Foundation manager Angela Oswin said it was her first time at the event, and she came away claiming the expensive slab of pig meat. The money goes to the charity of the winning bidder’s choice. The foundation chose the Fund for the Arts, a Louisville-based group that will use the money to allow Kentucky children to see orchestra and theater performances.

As we see it, McConnell should cease talking about repealing Obamacare because it is not going to happen as long as Barack Obama is president. Instead, members of Congress from both parties should look at amending the law to address weaknesses in it. Of course, McConnell knows the law won’t be repealed, but calling for its repeal makes for good politics in Kentucky, which the senator apparently thinks goes well with ham.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • PAUL CHITWOOD: Ruling on same-sex marriage defies state constitution

    News that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn once again usurped the will of Kentucky voters is tragic and disappointing. By declaring gay marriage legal in the commonwealth, Heyburn defied the essential, foundational governing document that ensures order and justice, the Constitution of Kentucky.

    July 8, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • Magolene S. Fraley 1929-2014

    Magolene Spears Fraley, 84, of Wurtland, died Saturday in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.

    May 17, 2014

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014

  • In Your View 5/13/14

    Letters to the editor:

    May 13, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone