The Affordable Care Act in Kentucky

We're tracking how the Affordable Care Act will affect Kentuckians as it's implemented in the coming months and years. 

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Politics
5:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Questions Governor's Decision to Expand Medicaid

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell questioned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's long-awaited decision to expand Medicaid coverage under the president's health care law, arguing it will expose Kentuckians to increasing costs.

As Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston reports, Beshear, a Democrat, announced the state's Medicaid program will extend coverage to over 300,000 Kentuckians under the Affordable Care Act or what opponents calls Obamacare.

This means the state's Medicaid rolls will extend to more low-income and poor people who are below 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

The governor called it the right thing to do, and the decision was praised by fellow Democrats and health advocacy groups.

However, Kentucky's senior senator warned the extension will be costly for residents and hurt small businesses.

"Given Kentucky’s struggles to finance its current Medicaid program and the uncertainty of future federal funding, I am surprised the governor would make this decision to further implement Obamacare and expose the commonwealth’s taxpayers to more open ended expenses they cannot afford," McConnell said in a statement.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Co-Sponsors Measure to Protect Conscience Rights

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie has co-sponsored a bill that would allow individuals to ignore portions of the Affordable Care Act that violate their religious beliefs.

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act seeks to protect those who argue expanding coverage for contraceptives and abortion comes into conflict with their faith. For religious and political conservatives, the health care mandate to employers encroaches upon their constitutional rights.

According to Massie's office, the bill also protects health care providers who refuse to perform certain procedures and give refuge to people with religious convictions.

"Obamacare is expensive, unconstitutional, and threatens our First Amendment right of conscience," Massie said in a news release. "This bill protects churches, religious organizations, and business owners from being forced to violate their beliefs."

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Politics
5:26 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Bill Clears Indiana Senate Panel

The Indiana Senate Public Health Committee is advancing a proposal to expand Medicaid using the state's health savings account plan.

The panel voted 9-3 today to request that the federal government allow Indiana to use its Healthy Indiana Plan to cover the roughly 400,000 residents who would qualify under an expansion.

The measure, which has the backing of Gov. Mike Pence, now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.   A similar proposal has been introduced in the House.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Kentucky Health Co-Op Not in Danger After Fiscal Cliff Cuts

One lesser-known aspect of the Affordable Care Act is it’s reliance on state health cooperatives —  which work separate of the state- or federally run health exchange, but are free to offer their own brand of insurance on the exchange.

But recent Congressional deal-making is putting those co-ops in danger.

While states are getting grants to fund their exchanges, co-ops were getting federal loans which had to be paid back within five years.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Denton Files Two Bills To Place Affordable Care Act Decisions in Lawmakers' Hands

Julie Denton
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State Sen. Julie Denton has filed two bills that would put control of implementation of the Affordable Care Act into lawmakers’ hands.

Gov. Steve Beshear created a state-run health exchange through an executive order and is mulling whether to expand Medicaid. Both are parts of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

Denton says her goal is to let lawmakers have some say in either matter.

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Politics
11:46 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Tea Party Activists Tell Kentucky Lawmakers to Reject Obamacare

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT—As the 2013 Kentucky legislative session begins, Tea Party activists are encouraging lawmakers to abandon the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — in the state because of fiscal and health care concerns.

About 50 activists rallied in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday; they wanted their state legislators to hear their concerns as the 2013 legislative session began.

Kentucky can’t afford running its own health exchanges or to expand Medicaid, argued David Adams, a rally organizer.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Tea Party Plans Anti-Obamacare Rally to Mark Kentucky Legislative Session Opening

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Before the first gavel is hit the start the 2013 legislative session in Kentucky, Tea Party activists plan to rally in the Capitol Rotunda against the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

It’s the second capital rally against the health care law, which Kentucky has actively worked to implement by executive order from Governor Steve Beshear.

Rally organizer and activist David Adams says the goal of the rally is to convince lawmakers to pass a law overturning Beshear’s order and the health exchange in Kentucky.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Legislators Unlikely to Put State Health Exchange into Law

Audrey Haynes
Credit Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Gov. Steve Beshear will likely have to re-issue his executive order to keep the state’s health exchange running. 

Beshear started the exchange — part of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare — earlier this year through an executive order and state health officials have forged ahead with its creation.

But unless the Kentucky General Assembly takes up the issue to puts it into law, it's likely Beshear’s original order will have to be re-issued to keep work on the exchange moving forward.

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