KY Policy Blog

CBO Shows 23 Million Would Lose Coverage Under Health Care Repeal Bill

By Dustin Pugel
May 24, 2017

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) would unravel the healthcare gains Kentucky has experienced in the last three years and go beyond that by inflicting ongoing damage to the original Medicaid program.

Kentucky’s uninsured would dramatically rise.

The main portion read more

What Trump Budget Proposal Would Mean for Kentucky

By Ashley Spalding
May 23, 2017

President Trump’s full budget proposal released today includes harsh, devastating cuts to critical poverty-reducing programs that provide health, nutrition and financial assistance to many Kentuckians. The budget also includes drastic cuts to federal grants to states that improve our economy and quality of life and provide needed assistance to Kentucky’s most vulnerable. The rural areas of our state, which continue to experience the greatest economic challenges, would be hit particularly hard.

Mandatory Federal Programs

President Trump’s budget proposal includes harmful cuts to so-called mandatory programs (meaning spending is determined by read more

Health Care Repeal Bill Would Squeeze In-Home Health Services for Elderly & Disabled Kentuckians

By Dustin Pugel
May 19, 2017

Important services that enable Kentuckians to receive needed care at home and in the community, rather than an institutional setting like a nursing home, will be cut back if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law.

There are currently 39,289 Kentuckians who receive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) through Medicaid. These individuals include participants in the Supports for Community Living and Michelle P. Waiver programs, for which there is already unmet need. Because the AHCA makes permanent cuts to the traditional Medicaid program over time, the state likely read more

Kentucky Has Nation’s Most Rural Medicaid Expansion Enrollees, and AHCA Would Take That Away

By Dustin Pugel
May 16, 2017

For largely rural states like Kentucky, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a major boon for health coverage. There are 223,700 rural Medicaid expansion enrollees in Kentucky, more than any other state according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Fully half of Kentucky’s expansion population lives in a rural area, compared to 15 percent of expansion enrollees across the country. But the American Health Care Act (AHCA) puts those rural gains, and much more, in jeopardy.

The coverage gains Kentucky’s rural communities have experienced read more

Study of Indiana’s Medicaid Program a Warning Against Kentucky’s Plans to Charge Premiums

By Dustin Pugel
May 16, 2017

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 waiver suggest otherwise.

One aspect of Indiana’s Medicaid waiver program, “Healthy Indiana Program 2.0,” (HIP 2.0), is a requirement that enrollees make monthly contributions to a type of Health Savings Account called a POWER Account. The read more

Proposed Health Care Changes Would Hurt Kentucky’s Moms

By Dustin Pugel
May 12, 2017

Women, and mothers in particular, are especially at risk of losing access to healthcare if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law. While millions of Americans stand to lose coverage, the AHCA is especially harmful to mothers who rely on coverage offered and protected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for pregnancy, birth, family planning and other needs, as recently reported by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Medicaid works for mothers

One core part of the AHCA that has nothing to do with the ACA at all read more

The Many Harms of the American Health Care Act for Kentucky

By Jason Bailey
April 27, 2017

The House of Representatives is moving toward a possible vote Friday on an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill contains the same harmful changes as before: it would dramatically reduce the number of Kentuckians with health coverage, make plans more expensive for those buying insurance through the marketplace and shift billions of dollars to the Kentucky state budget — all while providing large tax cuts to millionaires. And the amendments make the bill even worse, allowing read more

New Amendment to Healthcare Repeal Bill Threatens Kentuckians with Pre-existing Conditions

By Dustin Pugel
April 27, 2017

The so-called “Meadows-MacArthur” amendment to the Affordable Care Act repeal bill does nothing to protect Kentuckians from the bill’s harmful changes, but makes things worse by jeopardizing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. There are 1.8 million people in Kentucky under 65 who have some kind of pre-existing condition, which is 50 percent of the non-elderly population.

The amendment does not repeal what is called “guaranteed issue” (the requirement that insurers offer coverage to everyone, regardless of their medical history), but allows states to waive certain requirements, effectively gutting that read more

A County-by-County Look at Kentucky’s Dramatic Health Coverage Gains

By Dustin Pugel
April 27, 2017

As we’ve written before, Kentucky has seen a dramatic drop in those without health insurance in every county, especially since 2013. Using the same Census estimates starting the year the Affordable Care Act became law, it is clear that 2014, the first year of Medicaid expansion and the insurance exchanges, is when Kentucky started to see large declines in uninsured residents.

Every county in Kentucky has seen a dramatic drop in uninsured since the Affordable Care Act was passed.Especially during 2014 & 2015.

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By several counts, Kentucky saw the largest drop in uninsured, and read more

Kentucky’s ACA Health Insurance Marketplace Is Not Falling Apart

By Dustin Pugel
April 13, 2017

Far from collapsing, the health insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are a way many Kentuckians are now able to buy health insurance. It will be important for the 81,155 Kentuckians who depend on that coverage for those in Washington to keep it stable rather than undermine it with administrative changes, threatened repeal of the ACA or even reckless public statements that cause insurance companies to question their participation.

Numbers from this year’s open enrollment show a functioning marketplace

Kentucky’s enrollment was lower this year than read more