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Beshear: Ky. health insurance exchange sets gold standard for ACA in US

by WHAS11


Posted on October 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 4:40 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says today’s Kentucky’s health insurance exchange has set the gold standard for Affordable Care Act efforts across the country.

But with many legislators opposed to the new policy, could Obamacare in Kentucky be reversed once they're back in session?

New numbers just in from Kentucky’s health insurance exchange of the nearly 200,000 visitors to its website, 18,000 applications are complete and 8,400 people are now enrolled in new health care coverage.

Beshear says Kentucky has the process going and he doesn't see anything stopping it.

A fight over Obamacare shut down the federal government. Could it happen here?

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Beshear acknowledges some Affordable Care Act opponents in the General Assembly could also try to derail it.

“There's always a possibility that somebody will at least try to symbolically do something on this, but I don't see any success in that,” Beshear said.

At issue is whether Beshear overstepped his authority when he expanded who's eligible for Medicaid in Kentucky and created a health care exchange. Both moves without legislative approval.

Lawsuits filed by Tea Party activist David Adams will likely be decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

“The law very clearly states that the legislature must ratify a decision by the governor to create a new bureaucracy that taxes, that spends money and writes new laws,” Adams said. “Otherwise we wouldn't need a legislature.”

“It's amazing to me that the folks who are challenging that are folks that usually think we don't want the federal government in here. We would rather handle our own affairs,” Beshear said.

Kentucky is basking in the glow of national coverage of Obamacare implementation here and much of that glow surrounds Beshear himself.

Beshear said the following on C-SPAN:
“October 1 was probably the most exciting day of my governorship. Kentucky is the only southern state to set up its own health insurance exchange.”

In a “New York Times” column, Beshear wrote his decisions are in the best interests of 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians and told critics to "get over it,"

A governor whose first term was defined by surviving the recession has rewritten his legacy.

“I tell you, if I can leave this office having set in motion a process that will make this whole state a much healthier state, make our workforce much healthier so we're much more competitive, it will be a great thing to leave for this state,” Beshear said.

Beshear says he "feels comfortable" Kentucky will prevail in the court challenges.