Lawmakers reapprove Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange despite protests from GOP

08/04/2014 06:03 PM

Democratic majority lawmakers on the interim health and welfare panel again approved executive orders creating kynect, Kentucky’s Health Benefit Exchange, down party lines on Monday

The vote on the Executive Order was 11-7 in favor with all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voting no. The latest executive order to keep kynect legal will expire 90 days after sine die of the General Assembly if not approved in the 2015 legislative session.

Republican legislators expressed concern over language relating to an Executive Order relating to the establishment and operation of the office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, expressed his concern on Monday at the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare legislative hearing on an executive order relating to establishment and operation of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Moore stated his concern to Beth Jurek, Executive Director of the Office of Policy and Budget Cabinet of Health and Family Services, that the order states that “whereas, the Commonwealth of Kentucky elected to create a state-based exchange known at “kynect.”

“This is not a reorganization,” said Moore. “This has committed the Commonwealth of Kentucky to an incredible amount of expenditure down the road. I really have a major concern, a major outrage with the claim that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has elected to do anything.”

Retiring Sen. Julie Denton,R-Louisville, the co-chair of the interim committee, expressed concern that full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act it could be too late if the General Assembly gets down the road and finds out there are higher costs than first expected.

“There’s too much money tied to it and too many hands in the pot,” Denton said.

Jurek said that, in fact, the General Assembly did approve the operating budget for the Kentucky health Benefit Exchange for the biennium.

“The operating budget for the Health Benefit Exchange was enacted by the General Assembly and those costs, I believe in ’15 are $30 million and in ’16 go down to around $26 million’, said Jurek.


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