More than seven in 10 residents of Kentucky want their new governor, Matt Bevin, to keep the state’s expanded Medicaid program as it is, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. And more than half of respondents described Medicaid as important for themselves and their families, underscoring the program’s substantial reach in the state and the challenges Mr. Bevin may face if he seeks to scale back or modify it.
Mr. Bevin, a Republican who took office Tuesday, is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act who earlier this year called for reversing the Medicaid expansion on the grounds that it was unaffordable for the state. He has since backpedaled to say he will seek changes requiring Medicaid enrollees to have “skin in the game,” such as by charging them monthly premiums.
“I do not intend to re-enroll people at this same level going forward,” Mr. Bevin said in a news conference after his election.
Yet the Kaiser poll, conducted Nov. 18 through Dec. 1, found that 63 percent of Kentuckians have a favorable opinion of their state’s Medicaid expansion. Support for the expanded Medicaid program was significant even among Republicans, of whom 54 percent said they would prefer to keep Medicaid as it is rather than scale it back to cover fewer people. Of respondents who voted for Mr. Bevin last month, 43 percent said they preferred keeping the program as it is now.
“This is a very poor state and people here can’t even afford to buy food,” said one respondent, Daryl Tackett, 57, a Republican in Harrodsburg, Ky., who said he did not vote in the election. “I don’t want him to take the Medicaid away because there’s too many people that needs it.”
Bevin will do it anyway, because the majority of the people who voted for him want to cut Medicaid, and the people who didn't vote for him don't matter. And people like Mr. Tackett here don't want him to take Medicaid away, but he sure as hell didn't bother to try to vote for Jack Conway in order to keep it, now did he?
I mean, what are the people who will be hurt by Bevin's promised massive budget cuts do in November 2019, vote?
What makes you think they would do that? I'll tell you what there Daryl, maybe you should have voted.