Democratic U.S Senate candidate Amy McGrath stopped in Paducah on Monday and spoke about her agenda for a public option health care and addressing the opioid epidemic. She also attacked U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s past record on healthcare.
McGrath, standing by the city’s riverfront park, criticized McConnell’s past efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act saying those efforts were solely politically motivated and would have left hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians without health care. Part of McGrath’s plan to face the coronavirus pandemic calls for a public option health care system that would automatically enroll anyone who lost their job or whose income declines below 200% of the federal poverty line. She also attacked McConnell for allowing the Senate to recess without agreeing on another COVID-19 relief bill.
“It’s unbelievable he would work overtime for the special interests and the corporations in the middle of the night, work overtime to pass tax cuts for them. But then when it comes to America in a time of crisis, he goes on vacation,” McGrath said.
Former University of Kentucky basketball player and social media influencer Rex Chapman joined McGrath to speak about his past struggles with addiction and other Kentuckians’ struggles with opioids. McGrath in Paducah called for more federal funding to allow for those in rehab longer treatment center stays.
“People go into rehab and then find out, well, their insurance isn’t that good. They can only stay a week. Well, you may as well do nothing if you’re just going to stay a week. You’re going to get out. You’re going to go right back to the same thing that you’ve done,” Chapman said. “Take care of Kentucky first. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of going to the morgue to identify friends.”
McConnell during a Monday forum hosted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau said McGrath skipping the event showed Democrats’ contempt for rural America. McGrath responded by saying McConnell hasn’t accepted three debates she challenged him to, and also criticized McConnell as “unable to stand up” to President Trump on trade war damage.
“He’s just unwilling to do it,” McGrath said. “You need a senator to do what’s right. Do what’s right for the industries here, do what’s right for the farmers here.”