Public hearing testimony split over Bevin's new Medicaid plan - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Public hearing testimony split over Bevin's new Medicaid plan

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to overhaul Medicaid in the state is facing strong criticism from the public.

At a public hearing about the changes in Frankfort on Wednesday, many people signed up to speak their mind and, many opinions were not in support of the plan.

“I looked, and I looked, and I couldn't find the right in what you’re trying to do,” AJ Jones said.

Last week, Gov. Bevin announced his plan to revamp Kentucky's Medicaid program.

If approved by the federal government, Bevin's plan would force those who receive benefits to begin paying premiums from $1 to $15 a month, but with no co-pay.

“What you're proposing to do here is more cumbersome than most folks find the insurance process is now,” Jones said.

Those on Medicaid would also be eligible for dental and vision benefits, only if they quit smoking, lose weight, volunteer or take classes. All mental health benefits will remain.

The program would also include the possibility for benefits for those with substance abuse problems.

“One of the goals of the governor and the Cabinet of Health and Family Services is to improve health care, to move the needle of healthcare in Kentucky,” said Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Secretary of the Cabinet of Health and Family Services.

Gov. Bevin says the plan could save the Commonwealth $2 billion over the next five years.

Around 1.4 million people in Kentucky are currently on Medicaid. It wasn’t all negative opinion at the hearing on Thursday.

“I'm sure there will be tweaks, but in general, we support the waiver,” said Carl Herde, CFO of Baptist Healthcare System.

If approved, the changes are expected to go into effect early next spring.

The next public hearing is scheduled for July 6 in Hazard.

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