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Medicaid expansion undermined by Ky. election

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The victory of Tea Party friend Matt Bevin as Kentucky governor, defeating Democrat Jack Conway, in one of the few Southern states to embrace the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act, suggests that the ACA will continue to be a loser for Democrats in the South even as it has been popular in many Democratic states.

The division of America continues apace.

Mr. Bevin has said he would end or at least dramatically modify the state’s Medicaid expansion and would abolish the state-based exchange, called Kynect. Both were established under outgoing Democratic Gov. ┬áSteven Beshear, who couldn’t run again because of term limits.

Modern Healthcare noted that “the Obama administration has hailed Kentucky’s success at extending health benefits to more residents under the Affordable Care Act. The number of uninsured in the state dropped from 20 percent in 2013 to about 9 percent this year.”

The magazine reported that “Bevin may face some opposition, however, if he moves to eliminated the programs. In a recent poll, fewer than a quarter of respondents were in favor rolling back the healthcare programs and more than half were opposed.

“But even some residents who are enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or an exchange plan supported Bevin.”

“Bevin has said he wants to at least modify the state’s Medicaid expansion to require recipients to pay premiums for coverage, as have Indiana and other Republican-led states.”

We’ll see how popular the new government ┬ábecomes if he tries to impose premiums on low-income consumers who have had the new coverage for free.

 

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