Government
2:39 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Group Pushes for Medicaid Expansion

A leading health organization in Kentucky is putting the pressure on Gov. Steve Beshear to expand Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act. 

Kentucky Voices for Health Executive Director Regan Hunt says her group is launching a two-week radio ad campaign pressure Beshear to expand Medicaid. The radio ad campaign will be partnered with a month long online ad campaign.

So far, the governor has delayed making a decision— although he seems to support the ideal, if fiscally possible.

Under the healthcare law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of expansion costs for three years and then 90 percent after that.

And with Kentucky being one of the most unhealthy in the nation, Hunt says it makes more sense to take the money while Kentucky can.

"I mean even for that small window of time, to potentially positively influence the health outcomes of Kentucky seems like a smart decision to me," she says.

Hunt says not only will the state save money it currently pays for extreme emergency care for the uninsured, but it could also help boost the economy. 

"This is an unparalleled chance," she says. "Kentucky's never had the opportunity to better it's health status and to better it's economy. Because we're going to have this money from the federal government coming in for services and that money's going to go to our providers, which is going to help stimulate the economy in other ways."

But opponents of expansion say Kentucky will not be able to afford the expansion once the federal government stops paying 100 percent of the costs.