Sen. Mitch McConnell's 1990 Campaign Ad on Affordable Health Care Is Worth Rewatching

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If 2017’s iteration of whatever Senator Mitch McConnell represents had his way, 22 million people could lose health insurance over the next decade. But 1990’s version of Mitch McConnell, eager to beat a Democratic challenger who was a physician, had a totally different idea: affordable health care for all Kentuckians!


McConnell’s 1990 campaign ad describes a health care system is that isn’t even remotely close to the one he’s proposing. In fact, it sounds like the total opposite.

“Today, too many families can’t get decent, affordable health care,” McConnell astutely explained in the ad after detailing his own recovery from polio. “That’s why I’ve introduced a bill to make sure health care is available to all Kentucky families, hold down skyrocketing costs, and provide long-term care.”

The ad becomes infinitely worse to stomach when you consider that McConnell also refused to meet with March of Dimes, the group whose research allowed him to recover from polio and later helped produce a vaccine for the virus.

“You don’t have to be a doctor to deliver health care to Kentucky,” McConnell’s ad concluded. It’s clear, however, being a Senator has not proved beneficial to the process of solving America’s health care crises either.

I won’t go as far as to say McConnell’s ad was anything more than political pandering, but he certainly grasped an idea that he’s evidently lost sight of today: his constituents wanted health care that wouldn’t leave them bankrupt or worse, dead.

Night Editor, Splinter