KY Policy Blog

Criminal Justice Bills Passed This Session

By Ashley Spalding
March 31, 2017

As the session began, many were hopeful that the legislature was poised to pass criminal justice reforms that would make a meaningful impact in reducing the state’s growing inmate population, associated corrections costs and high rates of recidivism. So where did we end up?

Here are the criminal justice bills that passed:

First steps to improve reeentry. Senate Bill 120 is the bill coming out of the Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council (CJPAC) appointed by the governor. Rather than a broader reform package, the bill takes some first steps toward read more

Tuition Increase Ceilings Announced

By Ashley Spalding
March 31, 2017

Today the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) announced the maximum in-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fee increases the state’s public universities and community colleges will be allowed to charge students in the coming year. These tuition caps range from zero at the University of Louisville (at their request) to five percent at four of the state’s comprehensive institutions. In the coming months, the higher education institutions will decide how much to increase tuition and fees within these limits. While college affordability is widely understood to be a serious challenge in read more

New Version of Drug Bill Would Have Serious Consequences for Addicts and Criminal Justice System

By Ashley Spalding
March 30, 2017

A new version of House Bill 333 passed the Senate Judiciary committee late last night. The bill contains very consequential changes for Kentuckians struggling with addiction, as well as the state’s criminal justice system.

An earlier version of HB 333 increased penalties for fentanyl trafficking in very small amounts — any amount under two grams. However, these penalties would not apply if a person could prove that he/she had a substance abuse problem at the time of the offense. This provision was important because the state’s definition of trafficking is read more

Eastern Kentucky Would Be Hardest Hit Place in Country by Job Loss from ACA Repeal, Report Says

By Dustin Pugel
March 30, 2017

The House proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) died last Friday, but House leaders say they hope to regroup and try again. Kentucky and especially eastern Kentucky would experience major job loss if the House ends up passing legislation like it considered last week, according to a report released in the midst of the debate.

Stripping away the Medicaid expansion, capping traditional Medicaid funding and rolling back the marketplace subsidies would cost jobs by taking federal dollars out of doctors’ offices, hospitals and local economies. The analysis by read more

A County-by-County Look at Kentucky’s Dramatic Drop in Uninsured

By Dustin Pugel
March 29, 2017

According to new data from the Census Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, Kentucky’s rate of uninsured residents under 65 years old dropped from 16.8 in 2013 to 7.1 percent in 2015, a 9.7 percentage point drop. All 120 counties saw a decline in their uninsured residents:

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While eastern Kentucky counties largely saw a greater portion of county residents covered through the Medicaid expansion, the counties that most drastically cut their uninsured rates read more

Getting Rid of Essential Health Benefits Means Less Coverage, More Costs for Kentuckians

By Jason Bailey
March 24, 2017

The House has amended their healthcare repeal to include eliminating a requirement that insurance plans in the individual and small group markets cover a list of ten essential health benefits. Those include maternity care, pediatric dental services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. The bill already stripped those required benefits from the Medicaid program, which covers 1.3 million people in Kentucky.

Here’s what getting rid of essential health benefit rules from private insurance would mean for Kentuckians:

People with pre-existing conditions won’t be able to find plans that cover read more

What You Need to Know About the AHCA’s Harmful Effects on Kentucky

By Jason Bailey
March 24, 2017

House leaders say they will take a do-or-die vote Friday on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Their proposal 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.

Here are KCEP’s resources on the impacts in Kentucky:

Kentuckians’ Marketplace Health Care Costs Would Rise $1,804 Under AHCA

The plan would read more

SNAP Works and Shows Where Economic Progress Still Needed

By Jason Bailey
March 24, 2017

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, played a key role in helping cushion Kentucky’s economy from the depths of the Great Recession. It continues to be a critical lifeline and economic stimulus for people and parts of the state facing ongoing economic challenges.

SNAP is designed to automatically help boost the economy when it falters. More people become eligible for the program when jobs are lost and incomes decline. That feature both supports families during hard times and counteracts the economic drag of lower spending. read more

Kentuckians’ Marketplace Health Care Costs Would Rise $1,804 Under AHCA

By Dustin Pugel
March 23, 2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides Kentuckians with a greater opportunity to gain health coverage. One way it does this is by offering financial help with purchasing insurance through the marketplaces that the law forms. In 2017, 81,155 Kentuckians purchased plans through Healthcare.gov, and nearly 4 out of 5 of them received financial help to buy those plans.

But the American Health Care Act (AHCA), designed to repeal and replace the 2010 healthcare reforms, would drive up the cost for people buying insurance through the marketplace by reducing tax credits read more

House Health Repeal Would Shift $16 Billion in Costs to the Kentucky State Budget

By Jason Bailey
March 22, 2017

The House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would cut federal funding for Medicaid in Kentucky by $16 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. Making up that shortfall would require an increase in state Medicaid spending in Kentucky that would be bigger than all but one other state.

Cuts to Medicaid in the AHCA come in two ways. First, it would require Kentucky to spend approximately three times more than under read more