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Comment Help Needed - "House Republicans Want Beshear to Halt 2014 Medicaid Expansion"
Herald-Leader ^ | July 5, 2012 | Beth Musgrave

Posted on 07/05/2012 1:47:27 PM PDT by Bluegrass Conservative

FRANKFORT — The top Republican in the Kentucky House wants Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to halt an expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The expansion of Medicaid is a central plank in President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which says the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs to add certain people to the program in 2014. After three years, the states must pick up some of the costs of the expansion, which Kentucky can’t afford, said House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover.

Typically, the federal government pays 70 percent of the costs of the insurance program and the state picks up 30 percent.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the controversial federal health insurance law but ruled that states can’t be financially penalized if they opt out of the Medicaid expansion. In Kentucky, more than 700,000 people receive insurance through the $6 billion program. It is Kentucky’s largest insurance provider.

“Last week’s Supreme Court ruling gave the states the legal flexibility to opt out of a massive expansion of the Medicaid program,” Hoover said. “On behalf of the House Republican Caucus, I am encouraging Gov. Steve Beshear to do just that and opt out of this financially devastating expansion of Medicaid.”

Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Beshear, said the governor has not yet decided if Kentucky will go ahead with the expansion. Kentucky is waiting to see how the federal government will adjust the regulations in light of the Supreme Court’s decision, Richardson said.

It’s difficult to say how many people would be eligible for Medicaid under the new rules. House Republicans point to numbers from the Urban Institute that show 400,000 uninsured Kentuckians who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion. Other estimates put the number of people eligible for Medicaid under the new rules at less than 350,000.

“Such a large increase would have a drastic effect on the financial stability of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and a detrimental effect on the other functions of government funded through the executive branch budget,” Hoover said.

The state would have to raise taxes or further cut other government agencies, which have been decimated by cuts over the last four years, Hoover said.

Proponents of the Medicaid expansion say Kentucky’s uninsured — an estimated 1 million people– are driving up health care costs for every Kentuckian. The uninsured often don’t pay and those costs are passed on to consumers who do have health insurance.

“I think that Americans have a right to accessible and affordable healthcare, and the more we expand coverage to meet that goal, the lower health care costs will be for all of us,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.

Beshear is one of 25 governors who has not yet said if he will continue with an expansion of Medicaid .

At least five Republican governors have said they will not proceed with the expansion. Those states include Wisconsin, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Florida.

Democratic governors in nine states have publicly said in the week since the Supreme Court ruling that they will move forward with plans to expand. Four governors have given some indication that they are leaning toward expansion of the program.

Kentucky moved the bulk of its Medicaid population — more than 550,000 people — into managed care on Nov. 1 to control costs and in anticipation of an influx of new Medicaid enrollees in 2014.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Kentucky
It's been quite a while since I've been on here, but I'm needing your help. The linked article is one that has run in the Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY) this afternoon. The Republicans in the State House of Representatives have called on our Democrat governor to opt out of the Medicaid expanion of Obamacare.

It looks like there has been an organized effort by the liberals to comment on this story and make it sound inhumane to opt out.

Can you go on here and comment as well and try to combat this liberal rhetoric? Any help is appreciated!

1 posted on 07/05/2012 1:47:35 PM PDT by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

If KY chose not to play, I imagine those eligible would be more than happy to move to Illinois, permanently relieving KY of their support costs. That sounds like a big long-term win to me. Even after we kill ObamaCare nationally, I imagine they would stay in Illinois for the friendly political climate.

2 posted on 07/05/2012 2:08:10 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

Love to know how California, Illinois or New York are going to pay for it.

3 posted on 07/05/2012 2:20:13 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Bluegrass Conservative
Here's my first-draft stab at a comment [send it to Letters-to-the-editor, too. It'll get more attention.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says that "Americans have a right to accessible and affordable healthcare, and the more we expand coverage to meet that goal, the lower health care costs will be for all of us [...].”

To begin with, no one can have a right to something that someone else has to pay for. The right to your free speech doesn't cost me hard-earned money. You and I will have to get up and go to work and see part of our paychecks taken away from our own families to support someone else's "right."

And to pretend that it will lower health care costs for us is ludicrous. You simply cannot add one million people to Kentucky's already overcrowded health care system and expect costs to drop.

If the good Speaker wants to make us all pay more in taxes and higher insurance premiums and longer waits in the emergency room to provide coverage to the poor, he should just say so. Some people might actually respect his honesty, but pretending that unicorns will change the laws of economics is dishonest. We shouldn't fall for it.

Have at it. Put it in your own words and have fun.

4 posted on 07/05/2012 3:06:37 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: BfloGuy

I have an absolutely top knotch Primary Care Physician. He started his practice in our town as a young man and was my mother’s doctor until she died. I trust him because he knows me and my medical problems from many years of treating me.

If this Obamacare montsrosity goes any farther, I will, very likely lose the privilege of seeing the doctor of my choice or discussing with him what kind of treatment is best for me.

This attrocious law may well make him decide to stop practicing altogether as many doctors will. In addition, if I am shifted onto Medicaid; there is no way he can afford to keep me as a patient.

If this law stands, my daughter and son-in-law(who will bear the burden of the added taxes hidden in it) will someday hear that I am beyond saving because I am old. They won’t have the comfort of knowing that decision was made by a professional but will rather hear a list of statistical data that supports abandoning treatment.

A nightmare is in the making here Governor. Please don’t take one more step toward making it a reality.

5 posted on 07/05/2012 6:13:16 PM PDT by Aleya2Fairlie
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