Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Dawning Of Bevinstan

It's official as Governor Matt Bevin takes office today, and NPR talked to people in Jackson County, Kentucky -- one of the poorest counties in the nation -- about why they voted to end their own Medicaid.

And yes, for some it was "screw Obama, I'll still get mine."

Among those on Medicaid in Jackson County is Angel Strong, an unemployed nurse in McKee, Ky. — one of roughly half a million Kentuckians who received health insurance after outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, embraced the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Kentucky saw one of the sharpest declines in the rate of uninsured adults. 
"I had never had Medicaid, because I had insurance at my job," said Strong. "Now I am out of a job and I am looking for another job, but in the meantime I had no income."
Religious beliefs "outweigh" having health insurance 
Bevin's lack of support for expanded Medicaid didn't faze Strong, who voted for Bevin because she supported his socially conservative stands against gay marriage and abortion. 
"My religious beliefs outweigh whether or not I have insurance," Strong said. 

But the reality is the county doesn't think Bevin will dare take anything away from them, so losing Medicaid expansion was never a voting factor for them.

Most Jackson County residents are in Strong's shoes and need some kind of financial help to get health insurance coverage, said Doug Justice, who helps locals sign up for insurance. 
"I do have some who are subsidized," he explained. "They get some help there but the majority of [my cases are] Medicaid. A lot of it is. And it's helped a lot of people." 
Justice said many in Jackson County did not have the future of Medicaid in their state in mind when they went into the voting booth last month. 
"They are not getting into the details of that either," Justice said. "Maybe because they don't understand the ramifications of that should it happen, or they're just thinking, 'I'll deal with it when it takes place.'"

Bevin wouldn't dare, would he?  Ask our new Health and Family Services Secretary,  Vicki Glisson.

"Kentucky is consistently ranked as one of the least healthy states in the country," Bevin said, noting that about one in four Kentuckians are now enrolled in Medicaid, the government health plan for low-income, disabled and many elderly people in nursing homes. 
"We must be innovative in our efforts to improve health outcomes for Kentuckians but do so in a prudent and sustainable manner," he said. 
The cabinet also oversees kynect, the state's health insurance exchange Bevin has vowed to dismantle, and the Medicaid expansion authorized under the federal Affordable Care Act. Bevin has said he wants to scale back the expansion that has added about 400,000 people to the state Medicaid rolls.

The cuts are coming, but none of the people who voted for Bevin expect to be affected.  Only those people will be hurt, you see.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails