A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Dustin Pugel: Cassidy-Graham proposal greatest threat yet to Kentucky’s health care coverage

The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is known as Cassidy-Graham, and it very well may be the greatest threat to Kentucky’s health care we’ve seen. The state’s recent success in getting people coverage, and even health care gains achieved decades ago, are at risk of being undone with this legislation. The bill, sponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, is perhaps...

Former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be in Covington to protest ACA repeal effort

Former Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. Bernie Sanders is coming to Covington Sunday to rally the people of to demand that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) not go forward with his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As part of “Care Not Cut” rallies, Sanders claims McConnell’s legislation, which would throw 22 million Americans off of health insurance, would...

McConnell defends private drafting of health bill; Rand opposes delaying end of Medicaid expansion

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky defended Senate Republicans’ secret drafting of a new health-care law Tuesday, saying committee hearings that Democrats demand aren’t needed. “Look, we’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years. It’s not a new thing. We’ve spent a lot of time on it,” McConnell told reporters. “Nobody’s hiding the...

McConnell asks colleagues Portman, Toomey to help craft compromise on capping Medicaid spending

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has asked fellow Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania “to come up with a compromise between GOP conservatives and moderates on capping Medicaid spending and rolling back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion to low-income adults,” Harris Meyer reports for Modern Healthcare. “That’s a key disagreement...

Low-income adults in Medicaid expansion in Kentucky, Arkansas report better health, care

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Two states that expanded Medicaid through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act showed a 41 percent increase in the number of enrollees with a regular health-care provider and a 23 percent increase in the share who report excellent health, according to a three-year study of Kentucky and Arkansas. The study also found that low-income adults with chronic...

McConnell says work continuing on health care bill, invites Senate Democrats to participate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that all Republican senators are working on a health bill, and invited Democrats to help them. “Can our Democratic colleagues, who promised more choice under Obamacare, really be okay with the continuing failures of Obamacare? The status quo under Obamacare is simply unsustainable and unacceptable,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor....

Critical poverty-reducing programs for low-income Kentuckians at risk in proposed Trump budget

By Ashley Spalding Special to KyForward News reports suggest President Trump’s full budget proposal, slated for release next week, will include deep cuts to federal safety net programs that provide crucial supports for low-income Kentuckians and help boost our economy in hard times. These cuts to so-called mandatory programs (meaning spending is determined by how many people are eligible) are on...

National health care debate now turns to the Senate with questions about what McConnell will do

What will the U.S. Senate, led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, do with the health legislation that the House sent it Thursday? “Senate Republicans were in no mood for celebration,” like their House colleagues and President Trump did, The Washington Post reports. “Instead, they sent an unmistakable message: When it comes to health care, we’re going to do our own thing.” Republican...

Commentary: New House health care proposal takes a harmful plan and makes it even more destructive

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward Let’s be clear: Rather than a compromise, the new version of the American Health Care Act makes a deeply harmful plan even more destructive. The original proposal, the House’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, failed in part because some members were rightly worried about 24 million people losing health coverage, as projected by the Congressional Budget...

House approves bill halting Medicaid expansion, clears way to higher premiums for pre-existing conditions

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The health-care bill passed Thursday by House Republicans would end the expansion of Medicaid in 2020, limit the program’s funding after that to a fixed amount per person, and let states allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. On a 217-212 vote, the bill went to the Senate, which undoubtedly will change it. About...

Bill Straub: Barr’s clouded judgment leads to backing health bill denying coverage to his voters

WASHINGTON – Rep. Andy Barr, R-Banks and Financial Institutions, held a town hall in Lexington recently and it’s fair to say he didn’t receive the sort of welcome accorded the Chicago Cubs after they won the World Series last year. What the way-back bench lawmaker did get were the raspberries from a constituency fed up with his kowtowing to the rich money lenders who own him and for his falling...

Urban Institute analysis shows House repeal of health act would shift $16 billion in cuts to Kentucky

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward The House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would cut federal funding for Medicaid in Kentucky by $16 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. Making up that shortfall would require an increase in state Medicaid spending in Kentucky that would be bigger...

Trump visits Kentucky, touts GOP replacement to Obamacare to a receptive Louisville crowd

By Robin Cornetet and Tom Latek Special to KyForward President Donald Trump continued his push to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” speaking Monday at a rally in Kentucky, the home state of one of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders for the White House-backed health care plan and also one of its chief critics. “This is our long-awaited chance to finally get rid of Obamacare,” Trump told a friendly...

Bill Straub: To no one’s surprise, under GOP health plan, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer

WASHINGTON – If, as Forrest Gump’s mom was fond of saying, “Stupid is as stupid does,’’ there is a whole lot of people doing stupid in the nation’s capital these days. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t hardly identify the stupid without a scorecard. Most of the horrors are, of course, emanating from the White House, where President Donald J. Trump often seems out to prove that...

House health-care draft suggests a proposed plan that could leave rural areas short of coverage

A 100-page draft of a House Republican plan to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act suggests that rural, middle-class Americans may soon struggle to afford health insurance. The document, which was leaked to Politico last week, specifies that Medicaid expansion for low-income, able-bodied adults won’t be completely eliminated, but eligibility and funding will be rolled back after...

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...

Bill Straub: Adjustments to Obamacare could have avoided many of the problems GOP now criticize

WASHINGTON – The President of the United States recently allowed that he has proved tardy in offering his long-awaited replacement for the Affordable Care Act because “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,’’ sounding for all the world like an eight-year-old confronting theoretical physics for the first time. The comment is yet another example of those whoppers Donald J. Trump...

Bevin in the spotlight in governors’ continuing debate over future of Medicaid expansion

As governors debated the future of Medicaid over the weekend in Washington, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was an outspoken participant, according to several news reports. Bevin is the first governor quoted in a Politico story that began, “Republican governors are split over an Obamacare replacement plan — just like their counterparts in Congress. The big problem is how to make sure a repeal of the...

KHIP poll finds 22 percent of Kentucky adults say they delay or forgo health care due to the cost

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Two in 10 Kentucky adults continue to report that someone in their household has delayed or skipped needed medical care because of cost, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The survey found that such struggles are greatest for the poor, people with the poorest health, and those without health insurance. The poll, taken from Sept. 11 to Oct. 19,...

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...