Affordable Care Act

Community Action of Southern Kentucky

The countdown is on as Americans approach the Dec. 15 deadline to enroll in a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Even with all the political debate over health care, enrollments appear to be going smoothly so far in south central Kentucky.

There is some good news about health care enrollments in the 10 counties served by Community Action of Southern Kentucky. Melissa Grimes is the organization’s manager for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. She said many people who were worried about the cost of health insurance are breathing a sigh of relief. 

Americans have until Dec. 15 to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and residents in Kentucky’s Green River area are coming out to enroll  in high numbers. One local expert says uncertainty over the future of health care is a big reason why.

Many Americans, and many Kentucky residents, are unsure of what their options are for health insurance because of the national controversy over Obamacare, and some incorrect reports that it has collapsed.

Kentucky Leaders Respond After GOP Pulls ACA Repeal

Sep 26, 2017
NPR

The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act has failed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday announced he is pulling the Republican health care bill.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would have eliminated the mandate that people buy insurance or pay a fine. It also would have done away with subsidies that help people purchase insurance and it would have scrapped the national exchange, Healthcare.gov.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Republicans are once again waving the white flag on health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he is pulling the Republican health care bill because it does not have the votes.

Rather than endure another embarrassing vote that sees his caucus come up short, the senators agreed in a closed-door meeting to shelve the bill.

The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year — it doesn't have the votes needed to pass the chamber.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she will oppose the bill, authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Collins' decision means three Republicans have now publicly said they are against the bill — and that is one more than the GOP could afford to lose.

Becca Schimmel

Sen. Rand Paul said he still opposes the GOP’s most recent attempt to repeal elements of the Affordable Care Act, despite changes to the legislation over the weekend.

Paul is one of two Republican senators who came out against an earlier version of the Graham-Cassidy bill, which was tweaked over the weekend to send more Medicaid dollars to states whose senators have voiced opposition to the measure.

At an event in Louisville Monday, Paul called those last-minute changes “suspicious” and said the bill still doesn’t do enough to do away with Obamacare spending.

Lisa Gillespie

If the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is successful next week, more than 400,000 people in Kentucky who have health insurance through the Medicaid expansion would lose their coverage.

The Graham-Cassidy bill currently under consideration would cut federal funding for the Medicaid expansion program – which covers people making a little above the poverty line – by 2026.

Senate Republicans' latest plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system ends with a massive shift of federal money from states that expanded Medicaid — and are largely dominated by Democrats — to those that refused to expand.

Republicans' complex health care calculations are coming down to simple math.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to vote for a bill that aims to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and drastically reshape the Medicaid system. McConnell's office is planning to bring the bill up for a vote next week.

Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senators are on opposite sides in the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

The bill by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy would give block grants to states to create their own health care systems.  The funding would replace Obamacare's tax credits and Medicaid expansion.  The measure would also repeal the individual and employer mandates. 

Speaking on the Senate floor, Kentucky Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the legislation for taking more decision-making power out of Washington.

Kentucky Loses Big If Health Care Repeal Revives. Will McConnell Keep Trying?

Aug 25, 2017
Lisa Gillespie

Tricia Petrucci hasn’t quite reached the point where she regrets her vote for President Donald Trump. It would be understandable if she did, because Trump — and her senator, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — are trying to curb the medical services that sustain her 11-year-old stepson, who battles severe cerebral palsy.

She is aware of the irony when she chats with her Louisville neighbor, Ann Pipes, a Democrat whose own son is 11 and struggles with a disability.


Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Hemp farmers and processors in Murray presented progress and problems in growing the crop to U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Thursday. Paul is in the region as part of a tour discussing healthcare options and made a stop in Murray to talk hemp ahead of visits to other communities. Afterwords, he also commented on North Korea and health care reform options.

Joseph Kelly operates West Kentucky Hemp LLC. and works with Kentucky 21st Century Agri. He led much of the presentation, briefing Paul on some of their processes and procedures, ambitions and challenges. Kelly and others involved in hemp described its various uses: leaves (producing CBD), floor material (buds) for extracting oil, seeds (as grain and pressed for oil) and other uses involving the fiber.

Becca Schimmel

Congressman Brett Guthrie said he’s not sure if his Republican colleagues in the Senate will be able to repeal and replace Obamacare this year. He made these comments at a town hall style gathering Wednesday in Bowling Green.

Guthrie said he supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act at the same time. The Bowling Green Republican said the House did its job by sending a bill to the Senate that would have accomplished that task. But the Senate wasn’t able to get 50 votes to pass several versions of reform. Guthrie said he isn’t sure if repeal and replace will happen this year.

Updated on Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump is continuing to voice his frustration with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tweeting on Thursday that the Kentucky Republican should "get back to work" after last month's failure to pass a health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell to Consider Bipartisan Plan to Pay Health Insurers

Aug 5, 2017
Ryland Barton

A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'd consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets.

McConnell told reporters Saturday there is "still a chance" the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace "Obamacare," but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.

The Kentucky senator noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on "some kind of bipartisan approach" that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.

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