Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Why Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky Is at Risk
Press Release

RELEASE: Why Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky Is at Risk

Press Contacts

  • Liz Bartolomeo

Washington, D.C. — Since taking office in December 2015, Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has been working to roll back health reform in Kentucky, despite the strong performance of the Kynect state marketplace and the 439,000 newly eligible people now covered under Medicaid expansion. In a new column, the Center for American Progress looks at harmful provisions included in Gov. Bevin’s proposed waiver and explains how the governor’s threat to repeal Medicaid expansion if his waiver is not approved is irresponsible.

Recently, Gov. Bevin unveiled a proposal for a Medicaid waiver from the federal government that would make significant changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program and reduce the number of people the program covers. Worryingly, the governor has threatened to repeal Medicaid expansion entirely if the federal government does not approve his waiver.

“Instead of issuing reckless ultimatums that threaten the health and financial security of low-income Kentuckians, Gov. Bevin should take a more responsible approach and build on the historic successes of health reform in Kentucky,” said Thomas Huelskoetter, Research Associate for Health Policy at CAP.

CAP’s column reviews how health care reforms are benefiting Kentucky, as well as how the provisions of the proposed waiver would adversely affect beneficiaries. Some policies in Gov. Bevin’s proposed waiver, such as mandatory work requirements for most adult Medicaid expansion beneficiaries, are incompatible with Medicaid’s goals and thus cannot be approved under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ waiver authority.

Read the full column, “Kentucky’s Medicaid Ultimatum Threatens Beneficiaries’ Health,” online here.

Related resources:

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Liz Bartolomeo at lbartolomeo@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8151.

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