Dis-Kynect-ed: Bevin unilaterally ends health care for 420,000 Kentuckians while saving absolutely nothing
DRAKESBORO, Ky. — It’s the day low-income Kentuckians feared the most.
Matt Bevin, who took over as governor of the State of Kentucky after Steve Beshear was term-limited on December 8, 2015, has notified President Obama and the US Health and Human Services department in a nine-minute video that he’s ending Kynect sometime between January 27 and 31.
The latter date is the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance without facing penalties. That means 420,000 residents of the state must now scramble and beat the deadline, which is in eighteen days.
In a Dec. 30 letter to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bevin said he plans to wind down the state health exchange and transition Kentuckians to the federal site, healthcare.gov, to shop for insurance under the law also known as Obamacare.
…But the move is sure to disappoint some health consumer advocates who had urged Bevin to keep the site, praised for its accessibility and ease of use. The advocates have said it helped hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians sign up for health coverage.
Bevin, a Republican, had pledged to dismantle the health exchange authorized by executive order of his predecessor, Steve Beshear, a Democrat. Bevin’s letter said he wants the transition to the federal site to occur “as soon as is practicable.”
And for those who think this will save money: it won’t. In fact, taxpayers in Kentucky will not only pay a steep price tag for ending Kynect, they’re also likely to pay for the uninsured – including those who will lose their current health care due to Bevin’s unilateral action – to get health care, something that the federal Obamacare law sought to end after 24 years back in 2010.
Can’t say we didn’t warn you in November 2015.