KY Policy Blog

Kentucky Moms Deserve Better

By Anna Baumann
May 12, 2017

More than 488,000 women in Kentucky are raising an estimated 919,711 children under the age of 18. These biological, step, adopted and foster moms, grandmothers and other relatives and their children would benefit from policies that better support employment, job quality and economic security for Kentucky women.

Supporting Pregnant and New Moms at Work

Pregnancy and childbirth are a normal part of life for women: national data show that more than four out of five become mothers. An estimated 55,759 Kentucky women gave birth over the last year, 63 percent 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

Job Recovery for Some Kentucky Counties, Second Recession for Others

By Jason Bailey
May 5, 2017

When the Great Recession came at the end of 2007, all of Kentucky lost jobs. The U.S. economy hit bottom a couple of years later before starting to improve. Now the nation’s lost jobs as a whole are restored and the economy is strengthening, with some arguing the country is at or near full employment.

But when you dig down to the local level, the picture becomes less rosy — as the map below shows.

In Kentucky from 2009 to 2017, 32 counties experienced modest to strong job growth, with read more

Important Federal Investments in Kentucky’s Coal Communities at Risk

By Ashley Spalding
April 28, 2017

A panel at the East Kentucky Leadership Conference highlighted the importance of federal investments in addressing economic challenges in the state’s coal communities. With these funds at risk in the federal budget for 2018 and beyond, eastern Kentucky — and the broader Appalachian region — could be stalled in these important efforts.

At the conference a number of participants in projects funded by the federal POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative highlighted how these funds — reportedly approximately $20 million in Kentucky — are being used 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

2017 Session a Step Backward for Kentucky Workers

By Anna Baumann
April 19, 2017

The 2017 General Assembly has ended, but the full impact on workers of several harmful bills passed during the session will play out for years to come.

In the very first week of session in January, the legislature passed “Right to Work” (RTW, HB 1), making Kentucky the 28th state with such a law. The evidence does not support backers’ claims that RTW leads to job growth. Instead, what RTW does is lower wages for all workers in states – by an estimated $1,558 a year in 2015 dollars – read more

What Are Taxes For?

By Anna Baumann
April 18, 2017

Across the commonwealth, Kentuckians are filing their taxes this week; and many are wondering if and how the Governor’s intention to do tax reform this year will impact what they pay in the future. The principles of good tax reform are clear (that it generates new revenue to invest in our communities in a fair and reliable way). Tax Day is a good time to remember what our contributions pay for, and why we should make sure that everyone is chipping in.

Through local, state and federal governments, tax dollars 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