Governor Matt Bevin (R) of Kentucky has recently announced that the Kentucky state health exchange is going to be shut down. Kentucky is one of only 14 states to run its own exchange and the first to cut its ties to the Affordable Care Act. From the Associated Press story:
“Gov. Matt Bevin notified federal officials in a letter dated Dec. 30 that the state exchange will cease operations “as soon as is practicable.” That will be at least a year from now, according to federal law. It will not affect health plans sold for 2016.
Kentucky is one of 14 states that run their own state health insurance exchanges. More than 100,000 people have used Kentucky’s exchange, dubbed kynect, to purchase private health insurance plans with the help of a federal subsidy since it was implemented in 2013.”
I wonder how many of that 100,000 had their old health plans cancelled?
“But Bevin, just Kentucky’s second Republican governor in more than four decades, campaigned on eliminating kynect. The system is paid for with a 1 percent tax on all individual health plans sold in the state, both on and off the exchange. Right now, Bevin says about 85,000 people have purchased a private health insurance plan through kynect, or about 2 percent of the population.
Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said the fees from the sale of plans on kynect generate between $2.5 million and $4 million of the approximately $27 million it takes to operate the exchange each year.“
Who would guess that a government program doesn’t have enough many? Didn’t see that one coming.
“‘A majority of Kentuckians are paying a 1 percent assessment on their own premiums to support kynect operations which they do not use,’ Ditto said.
Once Kentucky moves to the federal exchange, that tax goes up to 3.5 percent. But the tax is only applied to plans sold on the exchange, Ditto said.“
This line of reasoning to dump the state exchange sounds reasonable enough to me. But if you’re a progressive the solution is to redistribute even more money, not to cancel legislation or government programs.
“Kynect was viewed as a national model for other states and was a success story for a Democratic administration plagued by technical problems with the federal system. Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear created it with the help of about $290 million in federal grants. He has estimated it will take at least nine months and cost $23 million to dismantle the system.“
The Kentucky exchange is a national model for others to follow? What exactly did the $290 million do for the people of Kentucky? How much state government money was wasted? My cursory search on what the money actually did hasn’t revealed much, aside from giving money to “kynectors” who would assist customers of kynect.
“Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, called Bevin’s decision ‘a big step backward on access to health care in Kentucky.’ Susan Zepeda, president of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said it “raises a lot of questions,” noting state officials had special programs targeting hard-to-reach groups, including veterans and rural residents.“
What if the federal government got out of medicine? I wonder how much that would bring down costs? If you’re on the New York Times’ Editorial Board opposing the ACA is as bizarre as liberty is to a socialist.
“Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky is dismantling the state’s highly successful exchange on which people buy private health insurance policies or enroll in Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. His shortsighted and pointless show of defiance against the Obama administration’s health care reforms could harm thousands of people in Kentucky, who may fall between the cracks as the state shifts their coverage from its own exchange, known as Kynect, to the federally run exchange at HealthCare.gov.“
I guess that the Kentucky exchange was highly successful because it wasn’t totally broken? If giving the federal government more power is so good how could thousands fall through the cracks?
The comments on the Yahoo! News article are simply amazing. Obviously, if you don’t support unsustainable federally controlled healthcare you want people to die. You also think that a state governor controls municipal water supplies.