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Kentucky GOP, eyeing state House takeover, plots Obamacare vote

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republicans seeking to take over the House for the first time in nearly 100 years plan a vote that would force Democrats to register their support of President Obama's signature health care law.

State Rep. Joseph Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, has filed an amendment to the state's $20 billion biennial budget that would reduce the state's Medicaid population and eliminate the state's health insurance marketplace, two pillars of the federal affordable Care Act. The smooth rollout of Kentucky's state-run marketplace has been considered a success story of the federal Affordable Care Act as marketplaces run by the federal government and some other states have faced glitches.

Thursday would be the first time Kentucky's Democrat-controlled lower chamber will vote on a law opposed by many in Kentucky. The amendment is expected to fail. But the intent is to put Democrats on the record with a vote.

"We don't agree with it, and we want to know what House Democrats think about it," said Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, the House minority floor leader.

With Democrats clinging to an eight-seat margin in the House, Republicans could cite votes in favor of the Affordable Care Act in their November campaigns.

"It's going to be an issue that plays a role this fall," said Steve Robertson, chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party.

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