Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway announced his candidacy for governor this week, vowing to continue Kentucky’s version of the Affordable Care Act, lauded as a national model by some and decried by others as an overreach of executive powers.
Current Gov. Steve Beshear oversaw the expansion of Kentucky’s Medicaid program and its subsidized private health insurance market. But he has done it all with federal money, and without asking the state legislature.
Prominent Kentucky Republicans — including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and state Senate President Robert Stivers — have advocated eliminating Kynect — Kentucky’s version of the federal health care overhaul — saying it places too much of a burden on the private sector and costs Kentucky jobs. The two- year state spending plan that begins July 1 includes a ban on using state money to pay for Kynect.
Conway said it would be his priority to make sure the more than 413,000 people who have signed up for health insurance through Kynect can keep it.