Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DIspatches From Bevinstan, Con't

It seems in his haste to dismantle Medicaid expansion and throw 400,000 off health insurance, Gov. Matt Bevin is running into a few problems, mainly the entire rest of Kentucky thinking that doing so is a terrible idea both morally and fiscally. Backpedaling Bevin is now reversing course on his plan to turn the program into a worse version of neighboring Indiana's and GOP Gov. Mike Pence's hybrid mess.

Kentucky’s Medicaid commissioner says the state’s plan to scale back the expanded Medicaid system will not require beneficiaries to pay premiums, according to an Associated Press report.  
In the report, Commissioner Stephen Miller goes on to say that Medicaid recipients could receive fewer benefits, including reduced vision and dental services. 

Late last year, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that he would by 2017 “transform” the state’s expanded Medicaid system into one where recipients have “skin in the game” by paying for benefits. 

Doug Hogan, communications director for Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said that the state couldn’t comment on the proposed changes or negotiations with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

“Everything is on the table and no decisions have been finalized. We are continuing to engage stakeholders and CMS in good faith,” Hogan said.

So now the plan is to cut benefits, something too that Bevin will have to sell not only to Kentucky voters but to the Obama administration.

Jonathan Gold, press secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said “any changes to the program should maintain or build on the historic improvements Kentucky has seen in access to coverage, access to care, and financial security.” 

According to an HHS official, requiring beneficiaries to be employed may not be a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.

Bevin remains one of the most unpopular governors in the country for a reason, and that mostly for mucking around with a system that worked and replacing it with a system that's broken on purpose to keep people off Medicaid and other state benefits.

We'll see how long that lasts. Bevin is crashing and burning pretty hard already.

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