Affordable Care Act

Health
6:07 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Kentucky Health Co-Op Not in Danger After Fiscal Cliff Cuts

One lesser-known aspect of the Affordable Care Act is it’s reliance on state health cooperatives —  which work separate of the state- or federally run health exchange, but are free to offer their own brand of insurance on the exchange.

But recent Congressional deal-making is putting those co-ops in danger.

While states are getting grants to fund their exchanges, co-ops were getting federal loans which had to be paid back within five years.

But the Washington Post reports that the fiscal cliff deal struck weeks ago kills off the co-op loan program for many states. But because of early planning, the Kentucky Health Cooperative isn’t in any funding danger, spokesman Jim McHanie says.

“Our funding is in place and we’re moving right ahead in fact we’re in the start-up phase of development and we plan to start offering coverage effective January 1, 2014,” he says.

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Health
8:05 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Denton Files Two Bills To Place Affordable Care Act Decisions in Kentucky Lawmakers' Hands

State Sen. Julie Denton has filed two bills that would put control of implementation of the Affordable Care Act into lawmakers’ hands.

Gov. Steve Beshear created a state-run health exchange through an executive order and is mulling whether to expand Medicaid. Both are parts of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

Denton says her goal is to let lawmakers have some say in either matter.

“Well all those pieces of legislation will do is say that only by the authority of the General Assembly can we expand our Medicaid program or can we set up the health benefit exchanges,” she says.

But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber will likely ignore Denton’s bills.

And the governor says he’s not worried about them either.

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Health
12:39 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Tea Party Activists Tell Kentucky Lawmakers to Reject Obamacare

As the 2013 Kentucky legislative session begins, Tea Party activists are encouraging lawmakers to abandon the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — in the state because of fiscal and health care concerns.

About 50 activists rallied in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday; they wanted their state legislators to hear their concerns as the 2013 legislative session began.

Kentucky can’t afford running its own health exchanges  or to expand Medicaid, argued David Adams, a rally organizer.

“It doesn’t take a forensic accountant to look at our fiscal situation and realize that we have no business getting into this sandbox whatsoever,” Adams says.

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Health
2:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Kentucky's 2013 Legislative Session Will Open with Tea Party Rally against Health Care Law

Kentucky Tea Party activists are carrying their fight against the Affordable Care Act into the new year.

Before the first gavel of the session Tuesday, Tea Party activists plan to rally in the Capitol Rotunda against the ACA.

It’s the second capital rally against the law, which Kentucky has actively worked to implement under an executive order from Governor Steve Beshear.

Rally organizer and activist David Adams says the goal of the event is to convince lawmakers to pass a measure overturning Beshear’s order.

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Health
10:37 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Speaker Stumbo Favors Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky

The Speaker of the Kentucky House says it’s a no-brainer for Kentucky to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

Under the health care law, states can expanded their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line, with the federal government picking up the tab for three years. 

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has yet to decide whether Kentucky will expand, saying he will calculate costs after 2017, when the feds pay only 90 percent of the expansion.

But Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he's encouraging Beshear to commit to Medicaid expansion now.

“I think it would be a penny wise and a pound foolish not to find the money,” Stumbo says.

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Health
8:36 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Kentucky Legislators Unlikely to Put State Health Exchange into Law

Despite progress toward building a state-run health insurance exchange in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear will likely have to re-issue an executive order to keep it alive.

Beshear issued an order creating the exchange earlier this year, after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. And it’s a goal of state health officials to get the exchange protected under a law, rather than an executive order.

But Republican State Senator Tom Buford says his colleagues aren’t likely to support an exchange law.

“Probably not, in my opinion, we will probably allow the Governor to re-order the executive order again," said Buford.

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Health
1:28 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Kentucky Gets Federal Approval for State-Based Health Exchange

After months building a state-based health exchange, Kentucky officials have been told that the federal government has given approval to their work.

Despite objections from Republican lawmakers, Kentucky officials quickly began working on a state-based exchange --- a part of the Affordable Care Act.

Many states surrounding Kentucky are opting for a federal-run exchange or haven’t yet made a decision.

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Health
1:24 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Kentucky's Mental, Behavioral Health Centers Prepare for Influx of Newly-Insured Patients

As Kentucky officials continue to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, doctors are preparing for a rush of new patients in every sector of the health care industry. Seven Counties Services CEO Tony Zipple says at least 25 percent of uninsured Americans have behavioral issues that need attention. And once the Affordable Care Act takes effect, he's expecting to see a flood of newly-insured patients seeking treatments.

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Health
1:17 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Policy Group Uses Kentucky Census Data to Encourage Medicaid Expansion

A progressive economic group says Kentucky should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act based on recently release Census data. The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy points to data that shows the percentage of Kentuckians without insurance dropped last year based on early elements of the health care law.

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Health
9:59 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Poll: Almost Half of Kentuckians Oppose Affordable Care Act, While Supporting Key Provisions

A new Courier-Journal Bluegrass poll shows a near majority of Kentuckians oppose President Obama’s health care law, with a clear majority against the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine. But that same poll indicates overwhelming support for several key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

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