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Healthy Debate: What The Republican Health Bill Taught Us About Medicaid

Jul 24, 2017
Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Senators Take Heat On Health Care During Summer Break

Jul 6, 2017
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the western Kentucky city of Paducah this week to talk about improvements to a local flood wall. Instead he heard a flood of complaints from more than 30 protesters upset about the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  


By Mary Meehan

Protestors in Lexington Thursday encouraged Senator Mitch McConnell to vote "no" on the health care bill he’s pushing towards a vote, as a planned sit-in turned out to be a polite stand-around.

Our Revolution Central Kentucky organizer Kristen Pack said she had been contacted by the Lexington police before the protest and knew the group would not be allowed in the lobby. 

But, ultimately, after some subdued sidewalk negotiations, groups of two or three, passing a handful of mostly smiling Lexington police were allowed to speak with McConnell staffers.

By Mary Meehan

While the specifics of the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are being debated in Washington, members of a grassroots advocacy group took to the streets of Lexington.

About two dozen members of Together We Will Bluegrass  waved signs at passing cars in the city’s Triangle Park on Friday.

Robert McGraw / WOUB

 

The true costs of the deep cuts in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would fall disproportionately on many of the poor and working class people in the Ohio Valley region who helped to elect him, according to lawmakers and policy analysts.


President Donald Trump urged a crowd in Louisville to support the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare currently making it through the U.S. House of Representatives.

Before a crowd of around 18,000 people packed into Freedom Hall, Trump said the bill was “our long-awaited chance to finally get rid of Obamacare.”

“Obamacare has been a complete and total catastrophe and it’s getting worse and worse by the day,” Trump said. “And yet you watch the fake media, the fake news, and they try and build it up. It’s a disaster, fellas.”

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Duard Rutledge voted for Donald Trump and Rand Paul for the same reason: They’re not afraid of a fight.

That’s why the 66-year-old retired Toyota worker wasn’t worried to see Kentucky’s junior senator getting in the way of the Republican plan to replace Obama’s health care law.

“When you get two thoroughbreds, they are high strung,” he said. “But if you get them headed the right way they can both win the race.”

More than 81,000 Kentuckians signed up for health insurance plans during the first open enrollment period under Healthcare.gov, state officials reported on Tuesday. That’s almost as many Kentuckians as enrolled through the defunct Kynect last year.

The Bevin administration dismantled the state-based health insurance exchange as one of its first acts, keeping a campaign promise from Gov. Matt Bevin. Kynect was created by former Gov. Steve Beshear as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Rebecca Kiger

The Road To Recovery

On a recent gray winter morning Tomas Green drove the rain slick streets of Ranson in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. No matter the weather, Green helps transport clients working through addiction at the Jefferson Day Report Center get to their treatment sessions and meetings.


 As Congress considers repealing the Affordable Care Act, health professionals in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia grapple with what that might mean for a region where many depend on the law for access to care. This occasional series from the ReSource explores what’s ahead for the Ohio Valley

after Obamacare. See more stories here >>

The health care sector has grown by more than 19,000 jobs in the Ohio Valley region. And some economists who focus on health care policy are warning that many of those jobs could well hang in the balance as Congress considers changes to the Act.

Kentucky was one of the states that embraced the Affordable Care Act.

More than 500,000 Kentuckians gained health coverage as a result of the law. About 400,000 got insurance through the expansion of the Medicaid system in the state and the rest through the implementation of Kynect, the now-dismantled state health exchange.

Since the 2013 implementation of the policy, under former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, the percentage of Kentuckians without insurance has dropped from more than 20 percent down to 8 percent.

Mountain Comprehensive Care Corportation

Mike Caudill runs Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation in five eastern Kentucky counties. Many of his 30,000 patients gained insurance through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. No one knows if or when those folks might lose coverage. But, Caudill said, the impact could be considerable.   


Democrats have tapped former Gov. Steve Beshear to deliver the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat’s efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace.