Government

Beshear: Federal Government Must Fully Fund ACA for Health of Kentucky

Beshear: Federal Government Must Fully Fund ACA for Health of Kentucky

Bill Stephens, Web Editor

May 19th, 2017

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Beshear, AGs asking to intervene in lawsuit to protect access to health care

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 18, 2017) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced he is seeking to intervene in a federal court case to ensure the Affordable Care Act is properly funded so Kentuckians continue to have access to health care on the private insurance market.

Beshear and a group of state attorneys general say if the case before the United States Court of Appeals is dropped millions of individuals, who currently get health insurance through an exchange would instantly lose their coverage.

The litigation involves the legality of continued federal payments to insurance companies by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund tax credits to reduce monthly insurance premiums for eligible individuals who purchase polices off ACA exchanges.

“Thousands of Kentuckians who purchase health insurance from the federal exchange are at risk of losing access to affordable health care coverage,” Beshear said. “The loss of federal funds and the financial uncertainty threatened by the case would lead to higher health insurance costs for Kentuckians and to insurers abandoning the individual health insurance market.”

Beshear said if the attorneys general are not allowed to intervene in this case, the number of uninsured Americans would skyrocket, hurting vulnerable families and causing a direct financial burden on states like Kentucky.

Beshear believes access to health care and substance abuse treatment is critical to addressing the state’s opioid epidemic. Protecting Kentucky families is a core priority for Beshear and his office.

Beshear recently joined a group of state attorneys general to implore members of Congress and the President to adequately fund drug treatment in any plan to replace the ACA. Beshear sees Kentucky’s drug epidemic as the state’s number one challenge.

Proposed ACA replacement plans would cut federal funding for drug treatment by an estimated $5.5 billion, Beshear said.

The ACA currently allows significant and critical assistance for drug treatment, providing coverage to an additional 2.8 million Americans suffering from addiction. It requires both private plans purchased from exchanges and Medicaid to cover certain drug treatment.

“Kentuckians who face numerous health issues are beginning to move the needle on their health and the state’s overall health,” Beshear said. “The federal government cannot abandon its legal funding commitment to our communities, many facing the worst drug epidemic our nation has ever seen.”

This week Beshear also joined with 50 other attorneys general to call for federal legislation that would return a portion of Part D Medicare fraud recoveries to the states.

Beshear said over the past 10 years, states contributed over $80 billion for the coverage, yet the states receive no portion of the pharmaceutical fraud settlements.

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