Healthcare concerns Cast Shadow over Kentucky House Race

Democratic challengers running for Congress in Kentucky state's sixth district are confident about their prospects about beating incumbent Republican lawmaker Andy Barr. The confidence stems from the fact that Barr's best-selling point- the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare- is now working against him.

A tight race

Voters of Kentucky state's sixth congressional district are now witnesses to two economically well-off Democrats running in the primary in May. The result will select the candidate who will compete against Barr later in the year. The district, if one goes by past records, is fully Republican. Barr had the confidence of 61 percent of the total voters in 2016.

For voters of this district, the ACA is a non-negotiable part of their life which cannot be taken away. These voters, who before had voted for the GOP, are now scared as they are fully dependent on the expanded Medicaid coverage brought into effect by the former President Barack Obama. A significant number of residents are also worried about the work requirements introduced by the GOP governor of the state.

Voters have a good reason to focus on healthcare. People in the district suffer from a greater incidence of lung diseases compared to the rest of the United States. Drug overdose incidences are much more common.

Republicans, Democrats, and analysts

The GOP is confident about its prospects. They are hopeful of Barr retaining his seat. When asked about the Democratic contenders, Jesse Hunt, spokesperson for National Republican Congressional Committee, swatted away their chances, saying that the two Democratic candidates are too busy fighting one another to prove who is the most progressive. The spokesperson opined that voters of the sixth Congressional district will not subscribe to such kind of liberal politics.

Analysts differ from the Republicans on this regard. They say that there is a distinct weakening of the Republican Party's popularity. There is a potential chance that Democrats could pick up a seat in the House of Representatives. There is a belief among Democrats that voter concerns regarding the rising medical expenses and GOP plans to slash Medicaid will help them to regain control of the House. The Democratic leadership has urged candidates to highlight this issue. These are of vital importance in the swing districts. The GOP has urged Barr to concentrate more on the economy during the elections in November. Republicans have warned voters that bringing a Democrat in will result in a socialized medicine.

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