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A Kentucky Where EVERYONE Has Access to Health Insurance

Today I announced a decision that has the potential to impact more Kentuckians than any other decision I have made or will make as governor – my decision to provide health insurance to more than 300,000 uninsured Kentuckians. This decision, combined with my previous decision to create the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, means that all 640,000 uninsured individuals in Kentucky will now have the opportunity gain affordable health insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to more low-income individuals, with the feds picking up the cost for the first three years and then gradually decreasing to paying 90 percent of the cost. While I was always hopeful to take this step, I wanted to make sure it was the fiscally responsible thing to do for the state. Our analysis shows that not only can the state afford to expand this program, but upon full implementation of the ACA, it would cost us more to turn it down.

A healthier Kentucky.

You’ve seen the statistics. We rank at or near the bottom in almost every health category, and I for one am tired of being at the bottom. 20 other states have chosen to improve their state’s health and provide more of their people with health insurance. And folks, not all of these states are lead by Democrats. Some Republican governors have also made this choice for a healthier America.

My friends, it’s a win-win situation for the Commonwealth. A healthier population, paid for in large part by the federal government, a healthier workforce to better attract the jobs of the future, and a reduced burden on the state’s General Fund with millions of dollars of cost shifting to the feds. If you would like more information on this momentous step for Kentucky, visit governor.ky.gov/healthierky.

Every day, we are working hard to make Kentucky a better place for our children and families, our businesses and our workers.