The Republican leadership of Kentucky’s state Senate says they will not block about $250 million in state spending needed to pay for the health insurance of more than 400,000 people on the state’s expanded Medicaid program.
The GOP leaders are meeting this week to prioritize bills for the 2016 legislative session, which begins in January.
Outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear used an executive order to expand Kentucky’s Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Incoming Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin has promised to repeal the expansion and replace it with something else.
Kentucky will start paying a portion of the Medicaid expansion in 2017. Next month, state lawmakers will debate a two-year state spending plan that would include that money, giving Republicans an opportunity to block it. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said the Senate does not plan to do that, instead opting for a gradual transition away from the program.