Medicaid waiver approval could be precursor for national changes, Bevin says

12/10/2016 05:21 PM

LOUISVILLE – Gov. Matt Bevin says Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid program will be a model across the country if it passes muster with the incoming presidential administration “because other states will want to do the same thing.”

That’s likely given the involvement of incoming Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services head Seema Verma’s firm, SVC Inc., in crafting the Bevin administration’s proposal, which would require most Medicaid recipients to pay premiums between $1 and $15 per month for health coverage.

For those earning more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level, monthly premiums would hit $37.50 per month after five years in the program.

Bevin said during a year-end news conference Friday that his administration’s proposal for monthly premiums “engages people.”

“If you bought your own bicycle, the odds that you’d leave that bicycle out in the rain are not high,” he said. “If I just give you a bicycle, the odds that you leave it out in the rain go up pretty significantly. If you have engagement, if you have actual skin in the game, you’re almost certainly going to make, have more appreciation for and take better care of whatever it is that you have, including access the health care.”

Bevin predicted that the waiver “will be approved” by President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

“I think you’re going to see block grants increasingly given back to states and responsibility for the health care of their citizens being given to the individual states themselves,” he said. “I think this is what’s coming. I can’t speak to what the administration’s doing, but I’ve had enough conversation with them to believe this is what’s coming.”

Bevin, a supporter of Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence who spoke at their Dec. 1 rally in Cincinnati, also says he’s uninterested in joining the incoming presidential administration as he turns his attention to his second year in office.

“I think that we’re going to do things that will make people happy in terms of the direction of this state, but time will tell,” he said on running for a second term in 2019.

“I have no interest in doing anything outside of what I’m doing right now politically. Back to the question about this versus the private sector, I miss the private sector, I’ll tell you. I really do.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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