Gov. Steve Beshear returned to Washington this weekend, telling a national news show that he guarantees the success of President Barack Obamas health care law.
Beshear, one of the nations most vocal advocates for the law, counseled patience on NBCs Meet the Press, pledging it is going to work.
Beshear jumped into the national spotlight after deciding to set up Kentuckys own online health insurance exchange instead of deferring to the federal program. The states kynect.ky.gov site has been hailed nationally as a success since launching Oct. 1, even as the national HealthCare.gov website has been maligned and ridiculed for continuing problems.
As Kentuckys Republican Senators bash the federal health law, Beshear has become a key ally to President Barack Obama. On Sunday, he defended Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Im not going to give the president advice on hiring and firing, Beshear said. But you know what? When things go wrong, like they go wrong in our state, I take responsibility and I fix it. And thats what Secretary Sebelius and the president are doing.
Beshear appeared on the show with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose state did not set up its own health care exchange. Kasich criticized Obamacare as Beshear defended Affordable Care Act and boasted of what he sees as the enormous success of Kentuckys program.
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, 26,174 Kentuckians had enrolled in new health insurance using the exchange. Of those, 21,342 had enrolled in Medicaid and 4,832 had enrolled in a qualified health plan.
Beshear, who was repeatedly pressed by moderator David Gregory to discuss the national exchange instead of Kentuckys, said the presidents law will work.
People are going to sign up for this, Beshear said. Itll take us a while to get it in process, but Ill guarantee you were going to make it work because its good for the American people and its good for Kentucky.
To the laws critics, Beshear advised they take a deep breath.
Look, this is going to take some time to get done, but everybody needs to chill out because it is going to work, the governor said.