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State Capitol

Former Presidential Candidate Impressed By Governor Bevin's Medicaid Reform Approach

Stu Johnson

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Rick Santorum says Kentucky’s approach to Medicaid reform places it in a good position to delve into private health insurance challenges.  Health care reform is not a new topic in Frankfort.

Santorum joined Governor Matt Bevin for a news conference this week at the capitol.  He praised the governor for his efforts to see Medicaid changes, including able-bodied work requirements.  The former U.S. presidential candidate favors getting federal dollars to states. “Take the expansion population dollars, give that to the state, with a prescription to the state to get people into private insurance.   If you’re in private insurance, the likelihood that coverage will equal care and access is much greater than if you’re put into a Medicaid population,” said Santorum.

Santorum says that might include developing a state-funded pool for high-cost patients.

A high-risk pool had been offered in Kentucky for several years, but ended in the mid 1990s.  Louisville Representative Tom Burch first came to Frankfort in 1972. “It was difficult to get into it.  You had to come up with all kinds of information to even get into it and it just didn’t work.  I think we allocated $10 Million to $12 million the first time for it,” said Burch.

Burch was in the House when it passed the most far-reaching healthcare reforms in 1994.  Louisville Representative Mary Lou Marzian says that law’s demise came after many insurance companies left the state

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