Studies show Kentucky would be among biggest losers under current version of health care bill

Few states would lose more of their federal health-care spending than Kentucky if the current version of the bill being pushed by Sen. Mitch McConnell became law, according to studies surveyed by the Lexington Herald-Leader. “The left-leaning Center for American Progress estimated 231,400 fewer Kentuckians would have insurance in 2026 under the bill,” reporter Bill Estep writes. “The...

Former Gov. Beshear, Republicans debate whether Obamacare is really succeeding in Kentucky

Kentucky’s roles in implementing and changing federal health-care law were on national display Tuesday night, as former Gov. Steve Beshear gave the televised Democratic response to President Trump’s first address to Congress and Kentucky Republicans criticized Beshear’s embrace of “Obamacare.” Trump set the table in his speech, using Kentucky as an example of why the Patient...

Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion covered 78 percent of five preventive health screenings last year

Medicaid covered more than 44,000 dental screenings as well as tens of thousands of four other preventive health screenings for non-elderly Kentucky adults during the third quarter of 2016, according to the latest snapshot from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s ongoing study of the Affordable Care Act. The study also shows that more than 78 percent of these screenings were for Kentuckians...

Bevin breaks with fellow GOP governors on health care, asks for limits on who qualifies for Medicaid

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin has taken a stronger stance against Obamacare than his fellow Republican governors, urging Congress to repeal it “in its entirety” and saying that if Medicaid expansion under the reform law must continue, then only those under the federal poverty line (FPL) should get it. “Medicaid was always intended to be a poverty program, and...

Medicaid expansion results in more Kentuckians obtaining preventative breast cancer screenings

The cost of more than 8,500 breast cancer screenings was covered by the state’s Medicaid expansion during the second quarter of this year. This accounted for 87 percent of the breast cancer screenings covered by Medicaid in that quarter. Similarly, Medicaid expansion has enabled more dental, diabetes, Hepatitis C, and colorectal cancer screenings for low-income Kentuckians, according to a report...

New report on Medicaid expansion shows majority of newly covered Kentuckians are ages 19-34

From Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Medicaid covered almost 636,000 adult Kentuckians ages 19 to 64 in the second quarter of this year, according to a report released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Nearly 78 percent, or 493,199 people, obtained coverage under expanded Medicaid eligibility enabled by the Affordable Care Act, the report said. And almost half of the newly covered Kentuckians...

Commentary: Important decisions on public investments shouldn’t be based on false choices

By Kenny Colston Special to KyForward When it comes to the public investments that keep us healthy, educated and safe, increasingly Kentuckians are presented with a false choice in Frankfort. We’re told that to pay down the debt in our pension systems, we can’t afford the access to health coverage provided by Medicaid expansion, or investments in our universities and community colleges, or other...

Commentary: Kentucky can improve budget, protect Medicaid by ending growing hospital tax break

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward The governor has proposed changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, arguing they are necessary to “ensure long-term sustainability of the Medicaid program.” But the small amount of state savings projected from the plan come from covering fewer people, which would move Kentucky backwards on our healthcare progress. And the administration’s approach to Medicaid...

Rural Blog: Study says a state’s failure to expand Medicaid hurts rural hospitals more than urban

If your state didn’t expand Medicaid under federal health reform, that is likely hurting your rural hospitals more than it hurts urban hospitals, says a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina, published in the journal Health Affairs. Researchers “found that rural hospitals saw an improved chance of turning a profit if they were in a state that expanded Medicaid—while...

Survey of low-income Kentuckians, Arkansans suggests Medicaid expansion making them healthier

A survey of people in Kentucky and other states suggests that the 2014 expansion of the Medicaid program under federal health reform is making them healthier. The telephone survey of more than 8,500 low-income citizens of Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas was part of a Harvard University study published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers found that low-income people in...

Commentary: Kentucky should keep the Medicaid expansion as it is; say no to KyHealth alternative

By Col Owens Special to KyForward I am a recently retired senior attorney from the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio. During my career I concentrated on health care issues of our low-income clients, primarily Medicaid issues. Many of our clients relied on Medicaid. Others went without access to care — until the Medicaid expansion. Ohio adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2013 with the strong...

Good News, Hard Realities: Building new two-year budget presents numerous challenges for lawmakers

By John Gregory Special to KyForward When state lawmakers convene in January, their top agenda item will be to pass a new two-year budget for the commonwealth. Under the best of circumstances, it’s a challenge to find consensus on how to spend billions in taxpayer money. But legislators will face some additional hurdles in the 2016 session: – A new gubernatorial administration under Republican...

Beshear speaks bluntly about state’s health issues, ‘rank politics’ of Medicaid expansion

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News   An interesting thing sometimes happens to governors when they travel to Washington; they speak a little more freely than they do in their states, and that appeared to be the case when Gov. Steve Beshear and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, another Democrat, did an 85-minute interview at the Brookings Institution this past Friday.   “So I had to put...

As auditor begins hearings on rural hospitals’ finances, state provides Medicaid report

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News   The expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program funneled $284 million to Kentucky health care providers in the first quarter of the year, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says in a report prepared for the hearings state Auditor Adam Edelen has begun to examine the fiscal health of rural hospitals.   Under the Patient Protection and Affordable...