- Kentucky’s Medicaid commissioner told state lawmakers the program’s costs will jump by 20% over the next two years to $3.7 billion as a result of Medicaid expansion.
- Stephen Miller said the Medicaid program is likely not sustainable at that cost.
- Former Gov. Steve Beshear’s (D) decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act opened the program to an additional 428,000 people, the Middlesboro Daily News reported.
Those 428,000 people will cost Kentucky taxpayers $257 million next year, Miller warned. What’s more, in implementing the expanded plan, the state found another 60,000 people who qualified for Medicaid under its previous iteration, to the tune of $124 million a year.
The 60,000 exceeded state estimates tenfold, Miller said. He was appointed Medicaid commissioner by Beshear’s successor, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, earlier this month.
Bevin has said he won’t reverse expansion over the next two years, but will pursue a waiver with the federal government to make changes later on that would weed out some beneficiaries and attach premiums to services for others. He has also promised to end Kentucky’s public health exchange, Kynect, by the end of this year.
Recently, Beshear launched a major campaign to head off healthcare changes being pursued by current governor Matt Bevin. “Save Kentucky Healthcare” will include an online campaign to educate people about the proposed changes and a petition to avert the overhaul.