News: Kentucky News

Will Kentucky expand Medicaid, and if so, how?

Thursday, April 4, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melissa Moody
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March 29, 2013 (The Morehead News) Kentucky is one of the last states to decide whether to Medicaid under federal health reform, and now that the General Assembly has gone home, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear can turn his attention to the many questions that linger.

Some Republican legislators think he will expand the program, but they worry about the cost when the state would have to start helping cover the new expenses, beginning in 2017.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee decided Wednesday that he will not pursue Medicaid expansion, saying that it could put hospitals in financial jeopardy by giving them more patients on which they lose money, reports Michelle Kaske of Bloomberg. If he is right and the same logic applies to Kentucky, Medicaid expansion in the state could harm the rural hospitals and providers -- some of whom are already squeezed by the issues with the new managed-care system.

Along with Kentucky, 10 other states are undecided about Medicaid expansion: Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

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