April 23, 2014

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Senator Katie Stine’s Frankfort Report

There have been several news reports about the impact of Obamacare in Kentucky. In July the Beshear administration, without any input much less approval from the general assembly, issued an Executive Order forming a health insurance exchange for the state. At the interim joint committee on health and welfare last month, administration officials presented a report on the implementation of this exchange. Remarkably, they could not tell the committee how they were going to pay for it or even more incredibly, how much it was going to cost. Several senators spoke up during the meeting to point out that unanswered questions, unknown costs, additional fees for insurers, and the administration’s hiring of 200 more state employees, made it clear that the only certainty was increased bureaucracy. There were enough legislators, both democrat and republican, who were uncomfortable with the lack of proposal details that we prevailed in scheduling another meeting in September.

On Wednesday of this week, that meeting occurred. A vote was taken to reject the Executive Order establishing the health insurance exchange because we do not believe that the governor has the ability, under state law, to create this completely new government entity.