By approving Governor Bevin’s dangerous and irresponsible Medicaid waiver, the Trump administration has agreed to end health coverage for 95,000 Kentuckians. During the campaign, Bevin pledged to end Kentucky’s highly successful Medicaid expansion, but as governor, he did not have the courage to do it. Instead he is sabotaging it by raising premiums for families who can’t afford them and creating new barriers to coverage that will—by the Governor’s own admission—force tens of thousands of Kentuckians to lose access to life-saving health care. Make no mistake: people will die because of this. Thousands of Kentucky families will face financial ruin. Governor Bevin and President Trump are creating an entirely unnecessary crisis in our Commonwealth for entirely political reasons. It is an unconscionable attack on our state’s health, and I will continue to fight for every Kentuckian to get the health care they need and deserve.


“I am pleased to see that the Trump administration has recognized the value of the Kentucky HEALTH proposal and has approved Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver application,” said Guthrie. “The Kentucky HEALTH program will help Governor Bevin and the Kentucky state government tailor Medicaid to best fit the needs of Kentuckians. By helping low-income individuals gain employment or further their skills, the Kentucky HEALTH program will put individuals and families on a path toward success, allowing them to eventually rise from poverty and no longer have to rely on the Medicaid program. I applaud Governor Bevin for his work on this innovative program, and I hope it will serve as a model for other states as well.”


I applaud CMS and Governor Bevin for recognizing the unaffordable mess left behind by his predecessor and responding with innovative, common-sense steps to engage patients, improve health, and reduce the burden on Kentucky taxpayers. Today’s announcement by CMS is a step toward taking the power out of Washington and sending it back to the state while also ensuring the long term fiscal sustainability of the Medicaid program.


Over the last weeks, many have asked me to consider running for Mayor of Lexington, my home, a city I adore. It would be a great honor to lead the city and I am flattered and humbled by the support, but my next race will not be for Mayor. I am proud of the record of accomplishment we have built over the last six years – helping 200,000 new Kentucky businesses open, crafting historic laws that are making a difference for our military, first responders and Kentuckians with disabilities, and launching initiatives like online voter registration. My resolve to continue working for Kentuckians and our Commonwealth is stronger than ever, and I know our work is not yet finished.


Governor Steve Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid was a game-changer for Kentucky that has saved lives, improved our collective health and pumped billions of dollars into our economy.  The waiver approved today puts those gains at risk, ultimately removes needed healthcare for up to 100,000 Kentuckians and will almost certainly cost us more in the long run because of the added bureaucracy.  The General Assembly needs to take a very close look at these changes and then decide if this is really the most productive course of action for the state to take for its citizens.


“Today’s troubling decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will reduce access to basic health care for Kentuckians by imposing unnecessary, bureaucratic restrictions for Medicaid recipients,” said Christie Gillespie, President and CEO of PPINK. “As a health care provider, PPINK believes that all Kentuckians deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care regardless of where they live or how much money they make. Unfortunately, too many Kentuckians still face barriers to care - especially those with low incomes, people of color, and those living in areas with few health care providers. We know that people are more likely to go without care and suffer negative health outcomes when politicians create more barriers to essential and lifesaving health care, and that is precisely what these new Medicaid restrictions will do. In a state where 443,000 people benefited from Medicaid expansion since last year, this will be devastating for the people of the Commonwealth.”