Saturday, May 23, 2015

kynect Is Doomed No Matter Which Repug Becomes Governor

Really, NPR?  You think Comer or Heiner were going to save Kentucky Obamacare? Fuck, if the state House goes repug in 2016, not even the president's BFF Steve Beshear could save kynect from the repug armageddon.
More than 500,000 people have gotten health insurance in Kentucky through the state's health care exchange Kynect and through expanded Medicaid. Kentucky has seen the second-steepest drop in uninsured of any state.

Supporters of the health care law point to it as one of the success stories, but the man who very well could become the state's next governor is vowing to "dismantle" Kynect and cancel the Medicaid expansion.

"We will have a very spirited discussion as it relates to health care in our state. Trust me on that," vowed Republican Matt Bevin, the surprising apparent winner of the contentious GOP gubernatorial primary. The Tea Party-backed Bevin finished just 83 votes ahead of James Comer, the state's agriculture commissioner, out of more than 200,000 votes.


In Kentucky, the governor has the power to unilaterally create or disband programs like Kynect, Cross said. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear chose to both set up a state exchange and expand Medicare. But he is term-limited.

Bevin, a venture capitalist who lost badly in a Senate primary last year to Mitch McConnell, would face off with Democrat Jack Conway. Conway, the state attorney general, starts as a slight favorite, but Kentucky is a conservative state, and Conway struggled in his 2010 Senate bid against Republican Rand Paul.
Bevin made getting rid of Kynect and the Medicaid expansion central to his campaign. He is also vowing to implement right-to-work laws and shrink government, in part, through attrition of public-sector workers.


But now it will be Bevin's policies that come under sharper scrutiny. He argues the state cannot afford the Medicaid expansion, which was the biggest reason for the drop in the uninsured. Federal funds currently pay for it, but that money will eventually go away.

"The fact that we have one out of four people in this state on Medicaid is unsustainable; it's unaffordable," Bevin said during the campaign, "and we need to create jobs in this state, not more government programs to cover people."

But Medicaid expansion is different than Kynect, which has been held up as one of the best-functioning state exchanges in the country.

"He won't get away with it," Cross maintained of Bevin's promise to get rid of Kynect. "He'll have to get serious about it at some point and stop conflating Kynect and the Medicaid expansion."

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