Advocates Slam Governor’s Plan To Overhaul Kentucky’s Medicaid Expansion
About 150 people came out to complain at the first hearing on Gov. Matt Bevin's proposal to scale back Kentucky's Medicaid expansion, which helped drop the state's uninsured rate to 7.5 percent from 20 percent. Bevin, a Republican who took office in December, says the state can't afford the costs. Another Southern state, Georgia, is also wrestling with the issue of expansion.
The Associated Press:
Advocates Criticize Kentucky's Proposed Medicaid Overhaul
Bobby Paisley's health insurance covers his vision and dental care. He knows, because he and his wife pay for it. "I don't have to do community service, I don't have to earn points and I don't have to wait," he said. But that's exactly what some 400,000 Kentuckians would have to do if they need an eye exam or a tooth pulled under Gov. Matt Bevin's proposal to overhaul the state's Medicaid program. Bevin's plan, announced last week, would eliminate dental and vision coverage for able-bodied Medicaid beneficiaries, but they could earn those benefits back by getting a job, volunteering for a charity or taking a class at a community college. (Beam, 6/28)
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal:
Bevin's Medicaid Reforms Decried At Hearing
Speakers worried the proposal for a "waiver," or approval from the federal government to restructure Medicaid in Kentucky, would be too costly for consumers, is overly complicated and eliminates important benefits, such as dental or vision coverage for adults. "I feel like this waiver is out of touch with the reality of low-income people," said Jeanie Smith, a Bowling Green woman who said her family benefited temporarily from Medicaid coverage while she was pregnant and her husband was in nursing school. "I am proud of our Medicaid expansion – for once, Kentucky is leading the way." (Yetter, 6/28)
Kaiser Health News:
Will Louisiana's Medicaid Expansion Be A Harbinger For Georgia?
Louisiana and Georgia have many political similarities. Both states face significant health challenges affecting their populations. And until recently, both states had identical approaches to Medicaid expansion. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, has rejected expansion since he took office in 2011, and GOP lawmakers have repeatedly backed him up. They point to concerns about the future cost of expansion, saying it would eventually put too much strain on the state budget. But on Friday, Louisiana will become the 31st state -- and only the third Southern state -- to expand the government program, which is jointly financed by state and federal governments. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat elected last fall, on his second day in office reversed the course set by his predecessor, Republican Bobby Jindal, by signing an executive order that began the process. (Miller, 6/29)