President Barack Obama on Tuesday night hailed Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear for implementing the president’s health care law in Kentucky, praising the governor who attended as Obama’s guest.
In defending and promoting the embattled and controversial law, Obama listed the high points of the law since the majority of it took effect on Oct. 1 and railed against Republican efforts to repeal it.
“And if you want to know the real impact this law is having, just talk to Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who’s here tonight,” Obama said. “Kentucky’s not the most liberal part of the country. That’s not where I got my highest vote totals. But he is like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families.”
The president continued, quoting Beshear at length: “‘They’re our friends and they’re our neighbors,’ [Beshear] said. ‘They are people we shop and go to church with … farmers out on the tractors … grocery clerks … they are people who go to work every morning praying they don’t get sick. No one deserves to live that way.'”
“Steve’s right,” Obama said. “That’s why, tonight, I ask every American who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by March 31st. Moms, get on your kids to sign up. Kids, call your mom and walk her through the application. It will give her some peace of mind — plus, she’ll appreciate hearing from you.”
Beshear and Kentucky’s First Lady, Jane Beshear, flew to Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning to attend the speech at the president’s invitation.
After the speech, Beshear issued a statement saying they were “honored” to attend the speech and “hear the president praise Kentucky as a national model for providing affordable, accessible health care to every one of our citizens.”
“We’re very proud to have the commonwealth in the national spotlight,” Beshear said. “Our work in providing access to health care will strengthen our families as well as our workforce.”
Beshear also said he was “pleased” to hear the president push for raising the minimum wage and improving early childhood education.