State of Kentucky Archives: on Health Care


Amy McGrath: For bipartisan plan to fix ObamaCare's problems

I believe health care should be affordable and accessible to all Americans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is far from perfect, but it enabled many Kentuckians--especially those with pre-existing conditions--to get affordable health insurance for the first time. I remain committed to working for a bipartisan plan to fix the ACA's problems. A single-payer system would require a sweeping overhaul of our health care system. I do not currently support such an approach.

A public option would give all Americans the opportunity to buy a publicly run insurance plan instead of a private insurance plan. We must increase competition among existing carriers. A public option would lower premiums--since the goal would not be to make a profit. This also gives people more choices: no one would be forced to go with a government-run plan, but it would be there if Americans wished to choose it. I support a Medicare buy-in option for those over the age of 55.

Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate campaign website AmyMcGrath.com Jun 30, 2020

Charles Booker: More expensive to do nothing than implement Medicare for all

As a Type 1 diabetic, Charles is intimately familiar with the realities of the American healthcare system. He believes that no one should die because they don't have money in their pocket, a conviction that he gained from being in the position of choosing between buying groceries for the week or a refreshed supply of life-saving insulin. Our system is broken, and people are dying because of it. When it comes to our health care system, the most expensive option is doing nothing and continuing to pay twice as much as any other industrialized nation on earth. Universal coverage is worth fighting for--and frankly, it's something that Kentuckians want.˙The increase in coverage that accompanied Medicaid expansion in Kentucky saved thousands of lives by providing people with healthcare for the first time and simultaneously drove one of the most significant economic expansions in rural Kentucky in recent decades. Medicare for All will build on that success.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate campaign website BookerForKentucky.com Jun 17, 2020

Amy McGrath: Will fight to lower prescription drug costs

We can't fix our health care system without addressing prescription drug prices. There are six bipartisan bills on Mitch McConnell's desk to reduce prescription prices, including legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower costs, and he won't even let them be considered on the Senate floor. The average Kentuckian spends over $2,000 annually on prescription medications. One of the first things I will do when I get into office is fight for legislation to lower prescription drug costs.
Source: The Northern Kentucky Tribune on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Jun 14, 2020

Amy McGrath: Improve ACA; don't get rid of private insurance

McGrath is against "Medicare for All" and free college tuition in a new TV pitch. "We need a senator who fights for things like affordable health care, college and technical school, not tax cuts for wealthy donors," McGrath says. "That doesn't mean free college or Medicare for All, I'm against that." Instead improve the Affordable Care Act without getting rid of private health insurance. McGrath also calls for students to perform unspecified "national service" to pay for higher education.

When McGrath ran for Congress two years ago, she said how she favored a single-payer plan but didn't believe it could pass. In four separate interviews during the course of that campaign, McGrath indicated she liked the idea of a government-run health care system but thought it wasn't feasible. "If we were to start over and have to start over from scratch, say this was 10 years ago -- I think we now know that single-payer would be the way to go," McGrath told NPR in an August 2018 interview.

Source: Courier Journal AdWatch on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Feb 11, 2020

Charles Booker: Has diabetes & rationed insulin: need Medicare for All

Booker sits furthest to the left in terms of health care, which he often describes as a "human right" that shouldn't be a financial burden. He said he fully favors a version of a single-payer system but has not specified which precise plan he supports. "When I was diagnosed with diabetes, there were times when my family was forced to ration my insulin just to survive," Booker said. "No one's life should be at risk because they don't have money in their pocket. We need Medicare for All."
Source: Louisville Courier Journal on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Feb 11, 2020

Steven Cox: Support Medicare for All

Most of us are one paycheck away from financial ruin. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy. A Medicare for All bill will fix this nightmare.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate website CoxForUS.com Feb 6, 2020

Wesley Morgan: Abolish ObamaCare; free market is best

ObamaCare should be abolished. ObamaCare has reduced choices and driven up costs. Health care would work best in a totally free market environment.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate website WesleyMorganForSenate.com Feb 6, 2020

Andy Beshear: Pass state law protecting people with preexisting conditions

I believe in a bigger brighter future. That requires that our Kentucky families don't have to worry about losing health care coverage because of a preexisting condition. I hear members of both parties say those very words. So this session, let's pass a state law ensuring no one can lose coverage in this state, ever again, based on a preexisting condition.

There are far too many Kentuckians who are rationing insulin or deciding between a prescription drug expense or healthy food, rent or school supplies. In fact, a member of this chamber has talked about having to ration insulin himself. Most bottles of insulin cost just $7 to produce & yet big pharma is charging our people upwards of $300 a vial. It is wrong. It is cruel. We must fight back. There are a number of bills in the legislature right now to curb the costs of insulin. Let's pass it.

Source: 2020 Kentucky State of the State address Jan 14, 2020

Andy Beshear: Rescinded Medicaid waiver, stopped managed care contracts

I rescinded the Medicaid waiver that would have kicked more than a hundred thousand Kentuckians off of their health care. Access to health care is a basic human right and it will be protected during my administration. We can't expect to create the work force of the future if our people aren't healthy. My administration further stopped $8 billion in managed care contracts that were rushed through just days before I took office.
Source: 2020 Kentucky State of the State address Jan 14, 2020

Steven Cox: Passionate about healthcare

Q: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

A: Healthcare or caring in general is a passion of mine. I want to unite us, so that we may address the looming threats together.

Source: Ballotpedia.org Connection: 2020 Kentucky Senate race Sep 9, 2019

Robert Goforth: Expand coverage to help fellow Kentuckians

Q: Will you protect or even expand access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act?

A: I believe in expanding health coverage where we can reasonably do it, and I'm not for wholesale chopping of huge numbers of people off Medicaid. The working poor and unemployed and underemployed Kentuckians need help. We cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of thousands upon thousands of our fellow Kentuckians.

Source: KFTC.org on 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial race Aug 7, 2019

Steven Cox: Medicare-for-All would reduce healthcare costs

In a Medicare for All system, you get rid of the "for profit" mentality. Medicare for All eliminates a lot of the costs.

From a provider's standpoint, when you go to the doctor, you have to give them your insurance card, and then they have to figure out if that's valid, then they have to [determine] with the insurance company what treatment is going to be covered. Under Medicare for All, it would streamline doctor visits and hospital visits because you would all be working on the same system.

Source: Max Micallef on Medium.com on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Jul 18, 2019

Steven Cox: Medicare-For-All would reduce healthcare costs

In a Medicare for All system, you get rid of the "for profit" mentality. Medicare for All eliminates a lot of the costs.

From a provider's standpoint, when you go to the doctor, you have to give them your insurance card, and then they have to figure out if that's valid, then they have to [determine] with the insurance company what treatment is going to be covered. Under Medicare for All, it would streamline doctor visits and hospital visits because you would all be working on the same system.

Source: Medium.com on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Jul 18, 2019

Steven Cox: Medicare for All absolutely needs to be done

Medicare for All is something that absolutely needs to be done. I have been involved with the insurance industry for a while now, and I do know that the cost for someone's health insurance isn't just the cost of mitigating the risk of them getting injured or sick. In a Medicare for All system, a single-payer system, you get rid of the "for profit" mentality. You then focus on what's best for the people.
Source: The Student Post on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Jun 23, 2019

Andy Beshear: Protections for pre-existing conditions; stop lifetime caps

[As Attorney General], all of the work we do is built on helping people. That's why I've defended health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions and fought to stop lifetime caps for people with conditions like diabetes or Crohn's disease. I also released a comprehensive health care plan that ensures every Kentuckian can access quality health care and drives down the cost of prescription drugs.
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor's race May 10, 2019

Matt Bevin: Ban use of tobacco products in schools

House Bill 11: Create a new section of KRS Chapter 438 to prohibit use of tobacco products by students, school personnel, and visitors in schools, school vehicles, properties, and activities; require policies to be in place by the 2020-21 school year; require that smoke-free policies and signage be adopted; provide that existing bans are not impacted.

Legislative outcome:Passed House 85-11 on 03/28; passed Senate 28-10 on 3/28; signed by Governor (KY Acts Ch. 198), 04/09/19.

Source: Kentucky legislative voting records: HB 11 on KRS 438 Apr 9, 2019

Matt Bevin: Parents should be free to vaccinate their children or not

"Why are we forcing kids to get it [the chickenpox vaccine]? If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child. ... But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn't."
Source: People Magazine on 2019 Kentucky governor's race Mar 21, 2019

Matt Bevin: Work/school requirements for Medicaid

Bevin said his administration's 1115 Medicaid waiver will empower Kentuckians to improve their own health outcomes. The waiver requires able-bodied adults with no dependents to work, go to school, or volunteer 20 hours a week. The waiver also enables the state to allocate Medicaid dollars for behavioral health needs.
Source: Press release on Kentucky 2019 State of the State address Feb 9, 2019

Robert Goforth: Ban use of tobacco products in schools

Robert Goforth co-sponsored House Bill 11: Create a new section of KRS Chapter 438 to prohibit use of tobacco products by students, school personnel, and visitors in schools, school vehicles, properties, and activities; require policies to be in place by the 2020-21 school year; require that smoke-free policies and signage be adopted; provide that existing bans are not impacted.

Legislative outcome:Passed House 85-11 on 03/28; passed Senate 28-10 on 3/28; signed by Governor, 04/09/19.

Source: Kentucky legislative voting records: HB 11 on KRS 438 Jan 8, 2019

Adam Edelen: Protect ObamaCare and expanded Medicaid

Protecting and Funding Healthcare for Kentucky: In recent years Kentucky finally took some bold, and long overdue, steps forward in offering affordable and reliable healthcare to our people. Since then however, Kentucky families have watched Washington DC and Frankfort politicians play cat and mouse with their healthcare, erecting barriers to enrollment and programs designed to discourage Kentuckians from signing up for the affordable healthcare they need.

It's time to stop using the healthcare of over 500,000 Kentuckians as a political football. Adam Edelen is committed to not only protecting the coverage of those who receive health insurance from the ACA but also working to strengthen the financial position of Kentucky's recently expanded Medicaid population.

Source: 2019 Kentucky governor campaign website AdamEdelen.com Dec 31, 2018

Rocky Adkins: No one should ever have to delay care to pay bills

As a 23-year cancer survivor, I know the importance of high-quality, affordable health care. Early diagnosis and treatment for any disease is paramount to building a healthy state. No Kentuckian should ever have to delay care, or make the tough decision between purchasing prescription medication or paying their electric bill. We must pass sensible policies that keep Kentucky healthy, while supporting our health care providers. We should also look at ways we can increase access to health care for our veterans. The men and women who have served our country deserve affordable and timely care. Lastly, it is imperative to the future of our Commonwealth that we work to curb the opioid epidemic. We must pass sensible legislation that will keep our neighborhoods safe and increase access to treatment programs.
Source: 2019 Kentucky governor campaign website RockyAdkins.com Dec 31, 2018

Andy Beshear: Protect ObamaCare: lives hang in the balance

Attorney General Beshear is taking legal action on behalf of 1.3 million Kentuckians who may lose health care after a federal judge determined ObamaCare to be unconstitutional last week. Beshear announced that he would join 15 other attorneys general across the country to oppose a Texas judge's ruling last week against the Affordable Care Act, the health care law passed by former President Barack Obama.

"With Kentuckians facing so many needs, we cannot allow a Texas court to strip coverage away from our Kentucky families," Beshear said in a statement. Beshear said "lives hang in the balance" and that he plans to file a legal challenge. "For so many families it is a matter of life and death," Beshear said. "If Kentuckians understand what is at stake, then they'll be supportive of us overturning this ruling."

Beshear listed the loss of mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions, expanded Medicaid, and children being able to stay on a parent's insurance until age 26 among his top concerns.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor race Dec 17, 2018

Rocky Adkins: Survived cancer at age 35, with chemo & surgery

Here are [three] things to know about Kentucky state Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, who announced that he is running for governor of Kentucky.
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor race Nov 14, 2018

James Comer: ObamaCare stifles businesses; pass tort reform instead

President Obama has placed the government between you and your doctor. That is unacceptable. The ObamaCare machine is just getting started, and the impact of this misguided law will have long-term repercussions. We need leadership in Washington that will repeal ObamaCare. Not only is ObamaCare having an impact on individuals, but it is also stifling businesses from creating jobs.

We must also pass tort reform to protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of healthcare. In my discussions with doctors, they spend too much time and money on defensive medicine, meaning that doctors require x-rays and other defensive medicine to protect them in the event of a lawsuit rather than treating the patient's issue. Once in office, I will work with doctors to improve this situation so that citizens aren't paying more for their medical visits.

Source: 2016 Kentucky House campaign website JamesComer.com Nov 8, 2016

C. Wesley Morgan: Opposes universally-accessible public health insurance

Q: Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?

A: No.

Q: Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?

A: No.

Q: Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?

A: Yes, if you mean allowing the purchase of insurance from across state lines..

Q: Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare")?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?

A: No.

Q: Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?

A: Yes.

Source: Kentucky State Legislative 2016 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2016

Jim Gray: Ensure solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund

The solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by 13 years since the passage of health reform. Jim believes we should go even further to bring costs down, and it doesn't have to be on the backs of our seniors.

Continuous improvement is always essential in business and government. Medicare has remained solvent because of our ability to make improvements to the program without turning it into a voucher program.

Source: 2016 Kentucky Senate campaign website, GrayForKentucky.com Aug 8, 2016

Jack Conway: Recovered $600M by suing providers for Medicaid fraud

Conway has increased Medicaid fraud collections by more than 600%. He has recovered nearly $300 million for Medicaid programs. Jack's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit has been named one of the most aggressive investigative units in the country by an independent watchdog group.

In 2011, Jack announced a $26.4 million settlement involving the Passport Health Plan for breaking state law when Passport paid some physician groups and hospital partners dividends out of the non-profit agency's surplus.

Source: 2015 Kentucky Governor campaign website, ConwayOverly.com Aug 11, 2015

Matt Bevin: Disband KYNECT immediately; transition to federal system

Health care reform in Kentucky begins with freezing and beginning to disband KYNECT immediately and assisting as needed in transitioning our citizens quickly from a state run exchange to the federally run healthcare exchange because Kentucky cannot financially afford to do otherwise.
Source: 2015 Kentucky Gubernatorial campaign website, MattBevin.com Aug 11, 2015

Alison Grimes: Kynect heroically for expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare

Grimes called the Democratic governor, a longtime enemy of her father, heroic for expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare: "Over half a million Kentuckians' lives are better as a result of Gov. [Steve] Beshear's expansion of Medicaid and creation of our state-based exchange."

She warned that McConnell would take away coverage from half a million people who can now get prescriptions and visit doctor.

Interestingly, while "ObamaCare" is unpopular, the state's health expansion, called "Kynect," actually is. McConnell has gotten himself in hot water before by trying to draw a distinction between the federal law and the state program. While he criticized Medicaid expansion, he responded when asked if he would do away with Kynect: "It's a state decision. That's fine. I think it's fine to have a website. Yeah."

Source: Politico.com on 2014 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 14, 2014

Mitch McConnell: ObamaCare's Kynect is a state decision, but yeah, it's ok

McConnell has gotten himself in hot water before by trying to draw a distinction between the federal law and the state program. While he criticized Medicaid expansion, he responded when asked if he would do away with Kynect: "It's a state decision. That's fine. I think it's fine to have a website. Yeah."

McConnell also disputed the idea that Beshear's program has covered 500,000 more people, arguing that many of them are now paying more for lower-quality coverage. Democrats pounced, with Beshear saying in a post-debate statement: "Tonight, Mitch McConnell looked into the camera and misled Kentucky about his plan to take Kynect from more than 500,000 Kentuckians who have gained health care in the last year."

Source: Politico.com on 2014 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 14, 2014

Steve Beshear: Kentucky leads the way on affordable health care for all

We are shrugging off an historic reputation for backwardness and instead are writing a new narrative founded on change and innovation. And the nation has taken notice. Over the last three months I've told Kentucky's story on influential programs like Meet the Press, C-SPAN, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. These national opinion-shapers didn't want to talk about the usual Kentucky subjects of basketball, bourbon and horse racing. They wanted to know about Kentucky leading the way on providing affordable health care to all of its people and designing a high-tech benefits exchange that has become a national model.
Source: 2014 Kentucky State of the State speech Jan 7, 2014

Mitch McConnell: ObamaCare is a train wreck; do what we can to repeal it

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about Senator Ted Cruz. He led this effort to tie the defunding of ObamaCare to shutting down the government. He said he is not backing away. He says he will continue to do "anything he can" to stop what he calls "the train wreck that is ObamaCare."

McCONNELL: Well, I certainly agree with Senator Cruz that ObamaCare is indeed a train wreck. People--even if they could access the website--can't get quotes. Even those who may be fortunate enough to sign up are going to find that the premiums are higher and the choices are fewer. One thing that all Republicans agreed on back in 2009 is that we thought ObamaCare was a terrible mistake for the country. We still think that, and we're going to do everything we can in the future to try to repeal it. But that requires a Republican Senate and a different president. We have a math problem in the Senate in getting rid of ObamaCare: 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. I'd like to have 51.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2014 Kentucky Senate race Oct 20, 2013

Alison Grimes: Delay mandated coverage, but keep ObamaCare

On the Affordable Care Act, Grimes was cautiously critical. "I am troubled by some of the provisions," she said, and for the first time said exactly which one. "There are 700,000 businesses in Kentucky and I am concerned that especially the smaller ones are overburdened," she said.

Her suggestion: delay the imposition of the coverage mandate on small business, as the president already has done for larger corporations. "The mandate will not work for many small businesses in Kentucky," she said, "so I believe that a delay is the right course so that changes can be made."

She also blasted McConnell for wanting to abandon the law altogether, pointing out that the state's health ratings are among the worst in the nation, and that other provisions in the law will extend coverage to an estimated 600,000 more Kentuckians. "Unlike Sen. McConnell, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water," she said.

Source: Huffington Post coverage of 2014 Kentucky Senate debates Aug 3, 2013

Jack Conway: Pay for Obamacare with bulk purchasing & fraud units

Q: If you want to get serious about the national debt, you have to do something about entitlements. Tell me of a single benefit you would reduce?

CONWAY: We need Medicare bulk purchasing. That would save about $200 billion. That would be the first bill I introduce when I go to the US Senate. Secondly, we need Medicare fraud units in each and every state. Estimates are there are about $100 billion in fraud.

Q: Are you willing to reduce a benefit?

CONWAY: Let me say one more thing on what I want to do as well. I think we need to end the offshore tax loopholes, a $130 billion in those. It can be done like that. We need a pay-as-you-go system. And then we also need a bipartisan debt commission to come back with recommendations.

Q: Dr. Paul, you say you want to repeal Obamacare; for Social Security, would you raise the retirement age?

PAUL: -for younger people, yes.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Rand Paul: Obamacare will cost $3T & health insurance still goes up 15%

CONWAY: I'm not for the $2,000 deductible and taking our health care system back to a pre-World War II system, which is what Rand Paul said. So I'd like to fix health care. He wants to repeal it.

PAUL: It's incredibly foolhardy to have a trillion-dollar stimulus and then another trillion dollars into Obamacare. The thing about government also is they notoriously underestimate the cost of things. What the Democrats tell us will be a trillion- dollar health care could turn into a $3 trillion nightmare, a drag on the economy. It's already causing unemployment in Kentucky. My health insurance went up 15 percent since Obamacare was passed. What is going to happen is it's going to hurt the economy and hurt jobs in Kentucky.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Bruce Lunsford: McConnell is bought and paid for by drug companies

During the forum, the candidates agreed on several broad policy issues, such as eliminating the capital gains tax. But they frequently traded shots over each other’s political backers. Lunsford repeated his claim that McConnell is “bought and paid for” by special interests such as drug companies and the oil industry, while McConnell described Lunsford as a patsy of labor unions.
Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Herald-Leader Aug 21, 2008

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Kentucky Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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