- Departing Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear recently urged governor-elect Matt Bevin to maintain the state's Medicaid expansion program by stating, "Look at this from a business standpoint, if not from a human standpoint."
- However, a spokeswoman for Bevin, Jessica Ditto, said in a written response his "healthcare vision will encourage personal responsibility and focus on expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage." According to The New York Times, "personal accountability" is a Republican buzz phrase used in states (Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan) which have obtained federal waivers to alter Medicaid expansion provisions.
- Bevin has scaled back his initial pledge to reverse the state's Medicaid expansion and instead wants to require enrollees to make payments toward coverage and scale back eligibility. He also plans to eliminate Kynect, the state's exchange and switch to the federal insurance exchange.
Kynect, which cost $238 million in federal funds, has been praised as a national success, according to The Courier-Journal. It doesn't cost taxpayers any money because it's financed via a surcharge on insurance plans. Beshear said it would cost the state $23 million to shut it down.
Beshear also provided some financial information at the conference stating the expansion brought in almost $3 billion in Medicaid money since 2014 and created 12,000 jobs. A major accomplishment of the program is Kentucky had the biggest drop in the U.S. of uninsured - from 20.4% to 9%. Now 90% of state residents have access to health coverage.
Beshear told The Courier-Journal he met with Bevin after the election and said he believes Bevin is willing to consider his arguments in favor of Kynect and Medicaid expansion but made no promises.