Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is set to announce whether or not he’ll expand Kentucky’s Medicaid program.
The Governor’s office says Beshear will share his decision Thursday at a 1:30 p.m. eastern time news conference at the state capitol building.
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, each state has the option of expanding its Medicaid services to those earning less than 133 percent of the poverty rate. The federal government has agreed to pay each state’s additional costs related to expansion for the first three years, with Washington picking up 90 percent of the tab each following year.
Some conservatives and Tea Party activists have called on Beshear not to agree to the expansion, saying the commonwealth can’t afford any additional costs.
Supporters say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to extend the program to a wider number of Kentuckians who are struggling with high health care costs.
The chairman of a Kentucky Senate committee is promising to file legislation aimed at preventing Gov. Beshear from setting up two major pieces of the federal health care law without legislative approval.
The Courier-Journal reports Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chair and Louisville Republican Julie Denton says she doesn’t want the Governor to be able to unilaterally establish a new statewide health care exchange or expand Medicaid services to more Kentuckians. Denton and other Obamacare opponents say the state can’t afford the exchange or expanded Medicaid offerings.