KY Policy Blog

Implementing Health Reform Will Promote Entrepreneurship in Kentucky

By Jason Bailey
May 30, 2013

Another reason that Medicaid expansion and the rest of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is good for Kentucky’s economy is that it will help support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that are critical to innovation and growth.

The Medicaid expansion is expected to make coverage available to up to 308,000 Kentuckians, while the ACA’s health insurance exchange could cover another 332,000. That access to health insurance will help address the problem known as “job lock.” That’s when people are reluctant to change jobs because they will lose their health coverage read more

Pathway to Citizenship for Immigrants Would Be Good for Kentucky’s Economy

By Anna Baumann
May 29, 2013

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would increase border security, regulate future immigration flows, and formally extend the American dream to the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. without legal status, about 80,000 of whom live in Kentucky.

Immigrants who do not have legal status make up roughly 1.8 percent of Kentucky’s population, and because they are more likely than native born Kentuckians to be working age adults, about 2.6 percent of our labor force. Conferring legal status and a pathway to read more

Medicaid Expansion Can Help Address Kentucky’s Substance Abuse Problem

By Ashley Spalding
May 22, 2013

There are many reasons to commend Governor Beshear’s recent announcement that Kentucky will be expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among the numerous important benefits of the ACA is that it will help with Kentucky’s substance abuse problem—and the Medicaid expansion will further broaden the reach of that benefit.

It’s no secret that Kentucky has a huge substance abuse problem. In 2009-2010, approximately one in 13 Kentuckians age 12 and over—and one in five of those 18 to 25—were dependent upon or abused illicit drugs or alcohol in read more

How the Medicaid Expansion Can Save Money in the State Budget

By Jason Bailey
May 10, 2013

Governor Beshear’s announcement that he’ll expand Medicaid in Kentucky included release of a report showing that expansion will result in a net savings of $802 million to the state budget over the next eight years. The report also demonstrates that not expanding Medicaid would cost the state $39 million over that same period.

But how can expanding health insurance to 308,000 Kentuckians save money in the budget, and how can not doing so increase costs? Here’s how.

Medicaid expansion will cover some indigent health costs currently paid for through the read more

Medicaid Expansion Will Help Kentuckians Get the Care They Need and Increase Financial Security

By Ashley Spalding
May 9, 2013

The Medicaid expansion that the governor announced today means more Kentuckians will get the treatments they need to stay healthy while avoiding the risk of financial catastrophe should they get sick.

Given our state’s health status, the help is needed. According to the United Health Foundation, Kentucky ranks 7th from the bottom among the states in overall health. Kentucky has the highest rates of cancer deaths and preventable hospitalizations in the U.S.—and also ranks among the ten worst states in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular deaths.

Many of the state’s health read more

Bill to Collect Internet Sales Tax Would Help Kentucky’s Budget and Level Playing Field for Local Businesses

By Jason Bailey
May 1, 2013

Federal legislation requiring internet retailers to collect sales taxes owed to states would aid Kentucky’s depleted budget and end the unfair advantage out-of-state sellers have over Main Street Kentucky businesses.

The Marketplace Fairness Act passed the first hurdle in the Senate last week by a vote of 63 to 30, although Kentucky senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul voted against the measure. It’s expected to come to a full vote in the Senate next week, and then will be considered in the House.

A 1992 Supreme Court ruling has kept read more

Federal Limit on Tax Expenditures Would Generate Needed Revenue and Make Taxes Fairer

By Anna Baumann
April 30, 2013

President Obama’s proposal to limit tax savings on itemized deductions and exclusions for high-income people would raise more than half a trillion dollars over the next decade while increasing taxes for only 1.9 percent of Kentuckians, according to a new report released today by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

The tax expenditures President Obama proposes to limit give the biggest tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals. For example, 77 percent of the benefit of the mortgage interest deduction goes to homeowners with incomes above $100,000.

That’s because for each dollar read more

Expanding Medicaid in Kentucky Could Improve the Health of Women and Babies

By Ashley Spalding
April 29, 2013

In Kentucky, nearly 41 percent of low-income women aged 19 to 44 are uninsured. However, if the state expands Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these women could gain coverage and improve their health and the health of their babies.

Currently Medicaid coverage for adults in Kentucky is very limited and leads to gaps in coverage for women.1 Many low-income women are eligible only while they are pregnant and for 60 days after they give birth.2

If Kentucky decides to expand Medicaid through the ACA in 2014, low-income women read more

Interactive Map: Expanding Medicaid Would Increase Health Coverage In Every Kentucky County

By Ashley Spalding
April 19, 2013

The Governor will be deciding soon whether or not to expand Medicaid eligibility in Kentucky through the Affordable Care Act. If the state does move forward with the expansion, nearly 280,000 uninsured Kentucky adults could receive health coverage. These uninsured Kentuckians who stand to benefit live across the state; in many counties, approximately half of the uninsured would qualify for coverage.

We have previously noted that among the uninsured in Kentucky who would qualify for coverage are workers—including thousands of store clerks, cooks, waiters and waitresses, construction workers, child care read more

What Are Taxes For?

By Anna Baumann
April 15, 2013

Tax Day is an important time for Kentuckians to consider the role of government in our state and nation. Taxes are a critical tool for doing things together that we cannot do alone. They support investment in education, health care, infrastructure, social services and other public structures essential for the common good in Kentucky.

These days, taxes are the subject of great controversy. The April income tax due date is a time when those seeking to shrink or eliminate many of the functions of government argue for more cuts. But read more