Affordable Care Act

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville says his party dropped the ball on promoting the Affordable Care Act. Yarmuth is one of the few public officials in Kentucky who has supported the health care law, and he actively defends it from criticism. But he says his fellow Democrats could have done a better job explaining the legislation.

Kentucky's two U.S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act. The two co-headlined a Tea Party rally in Frankfort Tuesday to protest the health care law. During the rally, Paul said he wants to not only repeal the law, but replace it with a different one.

Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators say they both want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but wouldn’t elaborate on reforms to replace the measure. The senators headlined a Tea Party rally held today in Frankfort.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is addressing a tea party group in a few weeks in Frankfort in what activists say is a first. Tea party activist David Adams told the Lexington Herald-Leader that McConnell hasn't spoken to a tea party group before and he thinks it shows the party's growing strength.

Kentucky’s soon-to-be-established health insurance exchange will be web-based and offer a mix of public and private insurance options. The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up marketplaces in which residents can compare and purchase insurance plans.

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