SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Matt Bevin says he will dismantle Kentucky's health care exchange if he's elected governor.
The Louisville entrepreneur made that pledge as he officially kicked off his campaign for the Republican nomination.
Bevin used a factory in Shelbyville as a backdrop to highlight his emphasis on job creation.
“It is going to be essential that companies like this continue to be the backbone of this state,” said Bevin, accompanied by his family and running mate Jeneane Hampton of Bowling Green.
As Shelby Industries employees worked in the background, Bevin unveiled the economic platform he has built for his run for governor.
“What ails this state, and what we need to address more than anything else are the economic issues that face us,” he said.
Among the highlights of Bevin's plan are a right-to-work law, shrinking the size of state government, overhauling the public pension system, charter schools and dismantling Kynect, the health care exchange established by Gov. Beshear under Obamacare.
Bevin says he would transition the hundreds of thousands who signed up for Medicaid through Kynect, to the federal health care exchange by 2017. That's when the federal subsidies are reduced, and Kentucky begins to pay its portion of the Medicaid bill.
“We can't afford it. Conservatively it will cost us a minimum of $150 million a year,” said Bevin.
Bevin disputes Gov. Beshear's contention that Medicaid expansion will actually grow the economy and more than pay the cost.
“It's absolute nonsense,” he said.
Bevin is the fourth Republican in the race. James Comer, Hal Heiner and Will T. Scott have been campaigning for months. In fact, Heiner is already running TV ads.
Bevin's challenge is to break out of the pack, when his rivals all hold similar views. The difference, Bevin says, is his private sector experience.
“Talk is cheap, said Bevin. “I mean at the end of the day, anybody can say this. My question is, who among us has actually created jobs?”
Bevin is holding similar events in Northern Kentucky and Bowling Green.
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