EDITORIAL: Bevin aims to reverse Medicaid expansion

Healthcare graphic

The issue: During his campaign, Matt Bevin promised the removal of “Obamacare,” which means the reversal of Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid. If he succeeds in doing this during his term as governor, almost 400,000 Kentuckians will be forced to go without health care.

Our stance: Taking away the health care coverage of so many Kentuckians will not be an effective way to solve any problems.


The results of last Tuesday’s election left many Kentuckians disappointed. Voter turnout rates in our state are terrible, but Kentucky is a red state, and Bevin made promises that supported many Kentuckians’ opinions. Specifically, his reference to the Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare” ensured that anyone opposing the current president’s policies would support Bevin. 

The sad thing is that most of the counties in which the majority voted for Bevin are the same counties that benefitted from an almost 10-percent drop in the rate of uninsured per capita after the expansion of Medicaid, according to the “Medicaid Expansion Report” released by Deloitte Consulting and the University of Louisville in 2014. 

This is a problem all of us need to face. Out of the 370,000 people who participated in kynect’s open enrollment during March 2014, 50 percent were under the age of 35, according to a press release from Governor Steve Beshear’s office on April 1, 2014. If Bevin succeeds in reversing Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid, many young adults will be affected. 

Bevin plans to reverse the Medicaid expansion by diverting people from enrolling in the 2016 open enrollment period. 

“I plan to use the open enrollment period in 2016 to transition people from the state-level exchange to the federal exchange,” Bevin told the Cincinnati Enquirer just a week before the election. “Once all are transitioned, I would shut down the exchange.”

Kynect’s 2015 open enrollment started Nov. 1 and will end on Dec. 15. There isn’t much we can do to make sure Kentucky’s health care remains accessible except continue to sign up for kynect during the open enrollment periods. 

Affordable and attainable health care is not a privilege. It is a right every person should be able to access.