- Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) launched a major campaign to head off healthcare changes being pursued by current governor Matt Bevin (R).
- During his campaign, Bevin vowed to end Kynect, the state’s health insurance exchange, and roll back Medicaid expansion, saying they were too expensive to continue.
- “Save Kentucky Healthcare” will include an online campaign to educate people about the proposed changes and a petition to avert the overhaul.
In defending the programs, Beshear cited improved health under Kynect and nearly $3 billion in direct revenue to the state’s providers, according to a prepared release. More than half a million people have attained healthcare through the exchange and expanded Medicaid.
“My conscience won’t let me sit idly by as this progress is reversed and healthcare is stripped from our families,” Beshear said in the release.
Killing Kynect and transitioning to the federal exchange would cost Kentucky $23 million in tax revenues and waste the $283 million in federal grants that went into establishing the exchange, Beshear said.
Bevin wrote to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in January, saying he plans to dismantle Kynect. On Medicaid, Bevin is seeking a federal waiver to charge a small premium on coverage for some of the 400,000 people in the expanded program.
Beshear said if critics of healthcare reform were to read independent studies by providers and health policy experts they would see that Kentucky can afford to keep both healthcare programs.