Governor-elect Matt Bevin wasted little time Thursday morning letting Kentucky know exactly what will happen to hundreds of thousands of us when he's sworn in next month. Here he is speaking with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on FOX and Friends (check the 1:48 mark):
HASSELBECK: Let me ask you this, for the locals watching. Ah, are you going to follow through with your plan to dismantle Kynect, that's the state's health insurance plan?
BEVIN: Absolutely. Oh my goodness, I...Yeah, if those have not followed me closely to figure out, I made very very few promises...
BEVIN: ...I made very few claims, those things I said I would do, I am going to do, no question about it, yes.
Let's keep in mind Bevin's also said he would reverse Medicaid expansion too.
Now, lately he's made noises about submitting a federal waiver and shifting 400,000 plus people to a private insurance Medicaid alternative like Indiana has, but that's going to be real hard without, you know, something to administrate Medicare alternative plans for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families statewide like, I dunno, say something along the lines of a GODDAMN STATE INSURANCE EXCHANGE LIKE KYNECT *breathes heavily*
Meanwhile, in Frankfort, it looks like a lot of people currently employed by the Commonwealth and getting insurance through their employer are suddenly going to be needing to shop individual insurance plans in 2016, Kynect or no Kynect.
Among those hopeful about the transition is Martin Cothran, senior policy adviser for the Family Foundation of Kentucky. “It’s going to be a big change in policy in this state, I think … to have the governor’s office in the hands of somebody who really wants to make some conservative change is heartening.”
Cothran said, “We’ve elected a governor who has expressed strong support for religious freedom, who is also in favor of charter schools. So we are hopeful some of the policy statements he made during the campaign are realized.”
But David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, is worried about Bevin's promises as a candidate to “shrink the size of government.”
Bevin said in an interview with The Courier-Journal last month, “Every department, every cabinet, every single area of government will have to tighten their budgets to the absolute degree possible.”
Smith said he fears Bevin will cut too deeply in areas the new governor does not consider priorities.
“We’re expecting cuts to personnel right off the bat, we anticipate the possibility of privatization of parks service,” Smith said. “I hope what he said in his acceptance speech about trying to bring everybody in Kentucky together for the best solutions is true. … But for now, I would say 99 percent of state workers feel concerned about what’s coming next: Where are we going to be cut? Is there a possibility I won’t even have a job come July?”
Guess you have to ruin a few hundred thousand lives in order to run Kentucky like a business.