KY Policy Blog

Three Steps to a Better Budget this Session

By Jason Bailey
February 25, 2016

The General Assembly has less than two months to finalize the next two-year state budget. Although the governor’s budget rightly takes a big step toward fully funding our pension liabilities, taken as a whole his plan would send the state backwards by deeply slashing the systems Kentucky relies on for the well-being of its citizens.

We don’t need to make such a painful choice. Kentucky can have a budget this session that more aggressively pays down our debt while better protecting education, human services and other vital investments needed to read more

Unanswered Questions about the Cost and Feasibility of Shutting Down Kynect

By Jason Bailey
February 23, 2016

The governor has notified the federal government that he intends to shut down Kynect and shift Kentucky to the federal health insurance exchange for the next open enrollment period that starts this November. In addition to potential harm to Kentuckians, including higher premiums and fewer people covered, big questions persist about the cost and feasibility of making this transition.

Kynect is widely viewed as a national model for its effectiveness in getting people signed up for the health insurance they are eligible to receive. And it’s shown in the results read more

A County-by-County Look at the Medicaid Expansion

By Dustin Pugel
December 18, 2015

A total of 425,782 Kentuckians were insured through the Medicaid expansion as of October. By county, between 3.7 and 19.1 percent of the population were covered and a total of $2.7 billion from the Medicaid expansion has flowed to providers. Especially benefitting is rural Kentucky. Perry County had the highest percentage of residents insured through the program with nearly 1 in 5 covered. Perry county also ranks 5th in Medicaid expansion money flowing into the county at $62.8 million since the beginning of the expansion.

The expanded Medicaid program in read more

Raising Minimum Wage Would Reduce Spending on Medicaid

By Dustin Pugel
December 4, 2015

Those advocating to scale back Kentucky’s highly-successful Medicaid expansion cite a concern about its cost to the state. One way to help buffer costs would be to raise the minimum wage in Kentucky to $10.10 per hour, which would reduce the state’s spending on Medicaid by an estimated $34 million each year according to research by the Center for American Progress.

An increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 would directly impact an estimated 304,000 Kentucky workers, 16,700 of whom would see their earnings increase to the point that they read more

Shutting Down Kynect Would Take Money From Other Important Priorities

By Kenny Colston
November 23, 2015

According to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, it will cost at least $23 million to dismantle Kynect, the state’s insurance marketplace. Using those funds to end the program would mean taking money from other important priorities.

Saving Kynect FINAL

Click to enlarge infographic read more

8 Reasons Kentucky Shouldn’t DisKynect

By Jason Bailey
November 11, 2015

Kynect, the state’s health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, is widely viewed as a national model for its functionality and success in getting people signed up for health coverage.

Here are some of the major reasons Kentucky should keep Kynect rather than shutting it down and transitioning to the federal exchange over the next year:

Kynect works really well. Unlike the federal exchange, the designers of Kynect created a simple and user-friendly system that from the beginning proved effective in getting people signed up for coverage. Kynect read more

Eastern Kentucky the Big Winner in Insurance Gains, but Rise in Poverty Shows Work to Be Done

By Jason Bailey
September 17, 2015

New Census data released yesterday showed Kentucky led the nation in its drop in the share of people who are uninsured.  More detailed Census data released today shows it’s in Appalachian Kentucky where the biggest gains were seen.

The state as a whole saw its uninsured rate fall from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent in 2014, a gain of 5.8 percentage points. Among congressional districts, the biggest drop was in eastern Kentucky’s 5th district, where the rate fell 8.7 percentage points — from 17.1 percent in 2013 to read more

Indiana Approach to Medicaid Expansion Limits Access to Needed Care

By Ashley Spalding
August 26, 2015

The “Indiana model” for Medicaid expansion has recently been held up as a possible alternative for Kentucky, with supporters arguing that Medicaid recipients should have more “skin in the game” by paying premiums and co-pays for services. However, such an approach could prevent low-income people from getting the care they need — making health problems costlier down the road and creating barriers to sustaining the health coverage gains Kentucky has made in recent years.

Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion has been very successful. It has provided health coverage for more than 400,000 read more

10 Reasons to Celebrate Medicaid’s 50th Birthday

By Kenny Colston
July 30, 2015

50 years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and elderly. In lieu of big cakes with candles, here are 10 reasons why Medicaid should last for at least another 50 years, based in part on a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

1. It provides health coverage to 947,100 people in our state.

That’s nearly 1 in 4 Kentuckians who can get the care they need for themselves or their children without being pushed into or read more

Visual: Medicaid Expansion Helps, Not Hurts, State Budget

By Kenny Colston
May 7, 2015

Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Kentucky expanded Medicaid eligibility to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line — or $32,900 for a family of four in 2014. More than 310,000 Kentuckians were enrolled in the Medicaid expansion by the end of 2014. According to an independent study, the expansion will help create jobs, new tax revenue and significant savings in the state budget, as shown below. You can read a more detailed analysis of the study here.

read more