A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Dustin Pugel: Kentuckians need more from the economy, so stop blaming the safety net, get to work

As decision-makers go after the very assistance that hundreds of thousands of low-income Kentuckians use to help make ends meet, the harm to families and communities deepens. Erecting barriers to participation in food assistance, Medicaid and other programs ignores what is really holding back Kentuckians: there are not enough quality jobs in the state, especially in rural communities. A prime example...

Dustin Pugel: Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program puts food on the table

This holiday season, as Kentuckians celebrate with friends and family around the table, we must also remember the impact policy choices are having on one of the best tools we have to ensure we all get enough to eat. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, plays a critical role in improving the health and well-being of 580,000 Kentuckians, including...

Urban Institute study predicts Kentucky’s uninsured population would triple if ACA is repealed

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward Kentucky would see its uninsured rate more than triple under the proposed Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Urban Institute, Kentucky’s uninsured population would jump by 541,000 people in 2022 based on the proposed changes to the healthcare system. The primary reason for the coverage losses is a cut in federal funding for...

Kentuckians who lose coverage resulting from Medicaid cuts will have few if any options

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward Many of Kentucky’s 1.4 million Medicaid enrollees would lose coverage from the radical cuts proposed in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the proposed Trump Budget. Because of the changes in the AHCA to the marketplaces, those left without Medicaid coverage wouldn’t have other affordable options for insurance, either. This toxic combination of slashing...

Congressional Budget Office review shows 23 million would lose coverage under health care repeal

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) review of the health care repeal bill passed by the House weeks ago estimates that 23 million Americans would lose coverage, many low-income and older individuals’ health care costs would rise, and people with poor health would be left with unusable and unaffordable insurance options. The American Health Care Act (AHCA)...

Commentary: Study of Indiana’s Medicaid program a warning against state’s plans to charge premiums

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward A recent evaluation of Indiana’s Medicaid waiver program should stand as a warning for Kentucky policymakers attempting to similarly charge premiums in our own Medicaid program. While proponents of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver proposal say charging premiums wouldn’t be a barrier to coverage and care for low-income Kentuckians, the findings of the study of Indiana’s...

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...

Commentary: House plan unwinds coverage gains, makes harmful changes to Medicaid program

By Dustin Pugel Special to KyForward By several measures, Kentucky has been the nation’s biggest winner from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nearly seven years later, those gains and more are at risk in the recently released American Health Care Act (AHCA) – which not only fails to replace the ACA resulting in lost coverage for millions, but goes beyond it to restructure the Medicaid program in...