Gov. Beshear touts kynect success

More than 400K enroll in insurance plans

By Kevin Wheatley, Published:

Beth Moore didn’t plan on becoming an Affordable Care Act “success story,” but she said Tuesday she dodged catastrophe in the form of more than $30,000 in medical bills due to health coverage obtained earlier this year through kynect.

Moore, of Louisville, became a self-employed behavior analyst in January and signed up for insurance through Kentucky’s health benefit exchange. During a trip to Texas two months later, she went to the emergency room and had to have her appendix removed. She contracted pneumonia during her recovery, sending her to the University of Louisville Hospital for three additional days.

Her medical expenses thus far have totaled more than $30,000, and all but $150 has been paid through her insurer, she said.

“It’s worked very well and I’m very grateful that I am a resident in Kentucky and that this was an option for me because it’s made a big difference for me, missing three weeks of work with no disability insurance,” Moore said at a Capitol press conference Tuesday. “If I hadn’t had health insurance, I’m not sure where I would be right now.”

Moore was one of two Kentuckians whom Gov. Steve Beshear cited as triumphs in the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, both in establishing the state-based benefit exchange, kynect, and expanding Medicaid eligibility.

As the first round of open enrollment closed April 15, 413,410 residents had registered for coverage through kynect — 82,795 in private insurance plans and 330,615 in Medicaid. Beshear expects the overall figure to rise as paper applications are processed.

Beshear said 75 percent of those who enrolled in health plans had no insurance beforehand, and the increase in insured Kentuckians would improve the state’s dismal health rankings.

“From the beginning, I knew that kynect would change the course of Kentucky’s history by helping hundreds of thousands of Kentucky families, and I never wavered in my support,” Beshear said. “… We’re going to keep enrolling people until everybody in Kentucky who needs health coverage has it.”

The Democratic governor is an outlier among southern leaders, embracing both voluntary aspects of the Affordable Care Act — establishing a state-based benefit exchange and expanding Medicaid eligibility — despite criticism from conservatives.

“I would question a lot of these numbers,” said Nicholasville tea party activist David Adams, who is appealing a Franklin Circuit Court ruling against his lawsuit questioning Beshear’s executive orders establishing kynect and expanding Medicaid. “… It’s funny that they dug around the state for two people to come in here and talk and couldn’t find anybody that didn’t have prior coverage.”

As more Kentuckians become accustomed to the Affordable Care Act and its benefits, Beshear contends, the less likely the federal health care law will sway voters once the midterm elections arrive in November.

“Obviously last November there were tons of misinformation being put out by its critics, and nobody really understood it or knew how it was going to affect them,” Beshear said. “People are now realizing whether it will affect them and if so, how, and come this coming November, the 80 percent of Americans and Kentuckians who the Affordable Care Act will not affect at all are going to know that it doesn’t affect them, and so for them, it’s not going to be a big issue one way or the other.

“The 20 percent that are affected in the United States and Kentucky, a lot of them — just like this 413,000 and more by the end of this year — are going to know how it affects them, and they like what they’re getting.”

Still, there has been a shift in rhetoric as election season nears. Behind a contentious race for U.S. Senate, the battle over control of the Democrat-led House of Representatives looms large in Kentucky. House Speaker Greg Stumbo has taken to calling kynect “Beshearcare” recently.

Is that a political ploy, to distance Kentucky Democrats vying to maintain a majority in the lower chamber from an unpopular president, at least in this state, and the health care law that more often than not bears his namesake, Obamacare?

Beshear shrugged off that question when asked Tuesday, though he readily accepted his administration’s role in expanding health care opportunities in Kentucky.

“I’m excited about what we’ve done and what we’re doing, and I’m excited because the people of Kentucky are going to be beneficiaries of it,” he said.

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  • So far, every doomsday prediction made about Obamacare by the conservatives has been wrong...every one.  The fact is that for the vast majority of the provisions contained therein it is the Republican Plan...shucks it was even modeled after the very successful Romneycare.  Any of the flaws in the plan were actually not part of the original submission to Congress, but were added to try to appease any Republicans (like Olympia Snow) to sign on...but in the end they did not under the threat of reprisals by the REpug leadership.  

    The fact is that Obamacare is the Republican plan...but as soon as Obama proposed it the REpugs rejected it for exactly that reason...they just hate that uppity n-word in the White House that much to throw their constituents under the bus.  Yep, it is the Republican plan as the Democrat's plan was the "public option" and the liberal's plan was 'Medicare for All".  I find it humorous to watch them choke on it and of course, the President.

  • Another Obamacare flaw/failure. I agree absolutely 100% its a great concept. However by forcing insurance to accept pre existing conditions is an economic disaster. A person say with cancer doesn't have insurance walks in and demands an insurance carrier to cover them they must do so. So the person say pays their 1st premium of let's use $2,000(have to keep it affordable) then the next day they go out for their chemo treatment and doctors visit $25,000. The insurance company now just lost $23,000. Again great concept and I truly do wish it would work, but its not economically feasible...

  • Horse dead...stop beating.  Time will tell. Interesting that the SJ left this article unlocked though.

  • Economic theory behind Obamacare...."young healthy working class" American's would sign up. They would pay premiums and hopefully not need the benefits because they are "young and healthy"....The reality of Obamacare is elderly and the poor (medicaid/care) are the VAST MAJORITY signing up. The result the sick, poor, elderly who don't pay in much will be using up most the benefits which WILL result jn the system eventually collapsing. Why? Because you will have more $ going out than coming in. Well unless you are Obama and you just keep printing more causing the $1 value to drop. Or you just keep borrowing more, to which someone will come calling on the debt someday, or the other option keep raising taxes to pay for more failed programs.

  • If it's so great; Why has Obama given out waivers to exempt some from the law? I mean it's REALLY GREAT shouldn't EVERYONE be FORCED to buy in?

  • If its so great; Why have they gone back and changed the "law of the land" over 30 times?

  • If its so great; Why did they HAVE to extend the deadline for sign ups to reach their "magic" 7 million?

  • So let me explain to ya in language an oxygenthief can understand(well hopefully). Let's pretend in KY all 423,410 Kyians got insurance. Of that 330,615 were medicaid? The government pays medicaid benefits from? TAXPAYERS.....the other 82,795 were "private sign ups"...Why did insurance companies originally back Obamacare? Subsidy payments. Where does the government get $ to give out subsidy? TAXPAYERS! So like I said TAXPAYERS are still the one's paying. Simple concept.

  • Here are some more good one's for ya B.O.-----if Obamacare is so affordable and so great why did only 7.1 million of 46 million uninsured "sign up"?-----If it is so affordable and so great; then why did Obama and the Dem's write in the law that if you don't get insurance you will be fined by the government? If it's that great wouldn't everybody want to do it voluntarily and be signing up in droves instead of being FORCED to do so?----pppsssttt last little secret TAXPAYERS are still paying the bill instead of paying the bill of the uninsured, they are now paying the government portion of the subsidy the insurance companies and the individuals are getting......

  • • The uninsured currently cost hospitals billions in unpaid hospitals bills, these costs are indirectly passed onto the average taxpayer with insurance. -Let's give Obama a pretend number of 7.1 have insurance now. Guess what B.O. That still means around 39 MILLION- Don't!.....

  • Since you say I don't have the real numbers? Then tell us B.O. ; How many people got insurance under Obamacare?

  • Since you say I don't have the real numbers? Then tell us B.O. ; How many people got insurance under Obamacare?

  • BrunoUno. Very good information.

  • Like ihate has the "real" numbers.  He has been wrong about everything so far and now he expects anybody to believe his hate filled numbers?

    ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion is one of the biggest milestones in health care reform. ObamaCare'sMedicaid expansion expands Medicaid to our nations poorest in order cover nearly half of uninsured Americans. The law previously required states to cover their poorest or lose federal funding to Medicaid(federal funding covers 90-100% of state costs) until the supreme court ruling on ObamaCare. State's can now opt-out of Medicaid Expansion leaving millions of poor working families without coverage.

    States opting out of the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare is projected to drive up insurance costs drastically (check out the facts below), while saving the States relatively small amounts, if anything at all. Join the ObamaCare Facts Mailing List to keep up to date on the Medicaid Expansion vote in your state.

    The bottom line on Medicaid Expansion: Does the cost of Medicaid to the State outweigh the cost of unpaid hospital bills shifted to those who pay for insurance and the fact that millions of poor working families will go without proper health care, creating a less healthy society who will potentially need more expensive unreimbursed care later in life?

     Millions of Americans will be able to get care before they are forced to use costly last minute emergency services in state's that support expansion.

    • The uninsured currently cost hospitals billions in unpaid hospitals bills, these costs are indirectly passed onto the average taxpayer with insurance.

    • Unpaid hospital bills to hospitals are one of the main causes of rising premium costs.

    • The Federal Government pays 100% of expansion costs for the first three years and 90% thereafter until 2022.

    • Many State's have shown that ExpandingMedicaid actually raises money for the State.

    • Cost is the most cited reason for not expanding Medicaid. While current Medicaidprograms do costs state taxpayers a lot of money, that spending is balanced by unpaidhospital bills and the affect those bills have on the rising costs of premiums.

  • ihate, why do you hate America?

  • Time will tell...

  • More like FAILURE!!! Let's use REAL numbers. Let me repeat this for the oxygenthieves. 413,420 sign ups. WRONG. Medicaid and Obamacare/KYnect have NOTHING do to with one another. Medicaid was around before Obamacare and even if Obamacare had not passed people still would have gotten insurance with medicaid. So in real world numbers you only had 82,795. Have they all paid their premiums? Are all of them "new" insurance sign ups or did they just switch to a company through KYnect? So of the 600,000+ kyians without insurance really only about 14% signed up. If Obamacare is so great; why didn't all 600,000 and 100% sign up? Smoke and mirrors for a failed program nice try Mr. Gov!!!

  • yea

     

  • Of course, it is a success...it is Obamacare!