KY Policy Blog

Medicaid Works for Kentucky

By Dustin Pugel
October 3, 2017

Medicaid provides health care coverage to over 1.4 million Kentuckians. For over 50 years it has helped pregnant women, children, people with disabilities and seniors and in the past 3 years it has allowed all low-income Kentuckians under 138 percent of poverty to get care when they need it. This critical health program has been at risk in 2017 for severe cuts under healthcare repeal efforts in Congress, and will face continued threats for more cuts through the federal budget process and the changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program proposed to read more

Cassidy-Graham Bill is Latest Attempt to Unravel Kentucky’s Health Care Gains

By Dustin Pugel
September 15, 2017

The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as the Cassidy-Graham bill, would cut Kentucky’s funding for low-income health care by $3.1 billion by 2026. That would be the 8th largest cut in the country, even though Kentucky ranks only 26th in the size of its population.

The bill would undermine health care coverage for millions of Americans in three main ways.

A block grant that squeezes funding for 10 years and then runs out

Perhaps the most devastating of the bill’s cuts would result from turning read more

Four New Ways Kentuckians Could Lose Medicaid

By Dustin Pugel
August 30, 2017

Low-income and disabled Kentuckians are currently eligible for a broad range of health care benefits thanks to Medicaid. As long as people earn below a certain annual wage ($16,670 for adult individuals), or have certain disability-related needs, they qualify. But Kentucky’s recent request to the federal government to make changes to our Medicaid program (known as an 1115 waiver) would add four new ways for people to lose coverage. The documentation attached to the waiver request estimates these new barriers will be a main driver behind 96,687 fewer people being read more

Ending Cost Sharing Reduction Payments is a Lose-Lose for Kentucky

By Dustin Pugel
August 15, 2017

Since 2014, the federal financial assistance for out-of-pocket health care costs known as Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) has been under threat – first from a lawsuit filed by the House of Representatives, and now by threats from President Donald Trump to stop paying for it. In either case, ending those payments would hurt middle-class families who purchase insurance through the exchanges, destabilize the insurance market and raise costs for the federal government.

What are CSRs and how do they work?

CSRs help low-income people use the insurance they purchase on read more

Kentuckians Are Concerned About Proposed Changes to Medicaid

By Dustin Pugel
August 9, 2017

Kentucky officials recently asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to change certain parts of their original request to alter the commonwealth’s Medicaid program. These changes would move Kentucky’s health and economy further in the wrong direction by making the work requirement more difficult to comply with and instituting a six-month lock out for enrollees who fail to report relevant changes in income or employment hours within ten days.

State officials decided to open a comment period for public input on these changes. The result was that 1,273 read more

How Cuts to Federal Non-Defense Discretionary Funding Would Impact Kentucky

By Ashley Spalding
August 8, 2017

When Congress returns from its August break, the House is expected to vote on their plan for 2018 appropriations that includes cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding, as well as deep cuts to entitlement programs. The proposed cuts to NDD programs would harm our state’s ability to improve education, support children and families, make our communities safer and healthier and develop the workforce and economy.

As noted previously, the proposed House appropriations for NDD programs would be 17 percent below what was appropriated in 2010 after adjusting for inflation and read more

Revised Senate Health Repeal Has Same Harmful Impacts

By Jason Bailey
July 13, 2017

Senate leaders released a “new” version of their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act that fixes none of the original Senate bill’s core problems and makes some of them even worse.

Through its cuts in funding, the Senate bill would effectively end Kentucky’s highly-successful Medicaid expansion, resulting in lost coverage for 473,000 Kentuckians. The bill goes beyond that to permanently harm the traditional Medicaid program by instituting caps that will squeeze funding over time. Those caps will jeopardize coverage for another nearly 1 million Kentuckians, including people with disabilities, read more

Kentucky Has the Most to Lose from Senate Health Care Repeal Bill

By Dustin Pugel
June 28, 2017

Kentucky would see its uninsured rate more than triple under the proposed Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Urban Institute, Kentucky’s uninsured population would jump by 541,000 people in 2022 based on the proposed changes to the healthcare system. The primary reason for the coverage losses is a cut in federal funding for Medicaid and premium subsidies on the insurance marketplace of $6.3 billion in 2022, a  58.5 percent reduction. That’s the largest percentage cut of any state.

The coverage losses under the Senate read more

Senate Health Care Repeal Bill a Drastic Step Backward for Kentucky’s Health

By Dustin Pugel
June 23, 2017

The Senate released the discussion draft of their bill yesterday to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If passed, the Senate proposal would be a terrible setback for the 1.4 million Kentuckians covered by Medicaid as well as all Kentuckians who benefit from the patient protections and assistance buying coverage contained in the ACA.

Nationally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it would end coverage for 22 million Americans and drive up health care costs for nearly everyone else.

Effectively Ends Medicaid Expansion

Over 473,000 low-income Kentuckians have gained read more

Medicaid Cuts Would Harm Kentucky’s Kids

By Dustin Pugel
June 21, 2017

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) makes massive cuts to Medicaid, which currently covers 537,736 Kentucky children – 42 percent of kids in the commonwealth when combined with the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid is a vital source of health care for children that provides both immediate care and long-term benefits.

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Medicaid Works for Kentucky’s Kids

Medicaid has always been used as a tool for providing care to kids from low-income read more