Viva la Veto? Beshear braces for override of religious freedom veto, leaves open veto of HB5

03/26/2013 11:40 AM

Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto of the “religious freedom” bill, HB 279, was the fifth rejection of an entire bill since he took office in 2007, and lawmakers Tuesday were preparing to override it for the first time in his tenure.

Beshear said Tuesday morning at a bill signing that he still hoped they wouldn’t and said it could have far-reaching consequences because of how vague it was written.

Here’s what else he said:

Meanwhile, Beshear wouldn’t say whether he will veto House Bill 5, the legislation sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo that would create an administrative review panel to referee billing disputes between managed care companies and doctors, hospitals, dentists and mental health center that provide health care to Medicaid patients.

Beshear said he conveyed “concerns” from the Health and Family Services Cabinet to Senate leaders. But the Senate passed the measure Monday.

If Beshear does veto the bill, lawmakers won’t be back in session to override it. Stumbo told reporters last night that he hopes one way or another that the managed care companies the state hired to keep Medicaid costs down aren’t trying to save money by shorting providers or changing the billing rules. If that continues, the House will make it a top priority in 2014, he said.

“If it’s not addressed, I guarantee you it’s going to be House Bill 1” in 2014, he said.


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