Look to Kentucky

Let’s be honest, Americans don’t often “look to Kentucky” as an exemplar for a lot of things.  But Kentucky is turning out to be a bright and shiny star for President Obama’s health care reform law.  And here’s why…

Kentucky governor Steve Beshear is one of the only Southern governors to apply the Affordable Care Act as it was written – persuading the Legislature to expand Medicaid eligibility as well as create a state-based health insurance exchange.  The effect?  In a state where 15% of the population is uninsured (about 640k people), over 56k have already signed up for new health care coverage.  The majority have signed up for Medicaid, but about eleven thousand people have signed up for private health plans.

Creating a state run exchange instead of relying on the federal website has proven to be a godsend for many states, not just Kentucky, as the federal website has continued to flounder.  For those who are salivating at all of the chatter about cancelled insurance plans and skyrocketing premiums, this article from the Washington Post describes the Kentucky experience in Breathitt County.  These are the very people the law was designed to help – those with low incomes that are too high for traditional Medicaid but too low for insurance.  Those with part-time jobs that don’t offer insurance.  Those who never knew they were eligible for health insurance and those who could never afford the care they needed.


About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
This entry was posted in health policy, medicine, newspaper, politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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