FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – For a state that has used expanded Medicaid to provide health care coverage to thousands of residents when they needed it during the coronavirus pandemic, overturning the remaining elements of the Affordable Care Act — commonly called Obamacare — would be devastating, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.
Beshear’s comments came as he and other state leaders announced the rebirth of kynect, an improved online portal to connect state residents to a variety of health and social services, from Medicaid to food assistance.
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who likely will be approved by the Senate before the end of the year, has expressed opinions opposing President Barack Obama’s signature health care measure.
A challenge to one of the cornerstones of the ACA is one of the top items on the Supreme Court’s docket.
with a strategy aimed at avoiding costly mistakes that could hurt the party’s candidates in November.
“Overturning the Affordable Care Act would be devastating to America,” Beshear said when asked about the possibility during Monday morning’s press conference outlining the ‘kynect’ online portal.
Beshear said such protections as pre-existing conditions, discrimination against women and senior adults, and the elimination of the expanded Medicaid which has “benefited thousands of Kentuckians when they’ve needed coverage most” would be “just some of the” results, the governor stated.
When he was attorney general before being elected governor last November, Beshear joined in national lawsuits in support of the ACA provisions. He’s since had those legal challenges moved to the governor’s office, he said.
“Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians would be left without medical coverage,” Beshear continued.
“I believe if they look at legally, as legal scholars and not as conservatives or liberals, they will will uphold it…I certainly hope they will,” he continued.
If the law is overturned, Beshear said the state General Assembly would have to pass laws banning insurance companies from ending or denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, barring discrimination in insurance coverage and other measures, but could not make up the funding loss provided by the federal government for expanded Medicaid.
Democrats see health care as the perfect counter to Republican hopes that Barrett’s confirmation will bolster Trump’s re-election. More Americans now favor the ACA than have opposed it over the last few years, according to polls, and Democrats believe the coronavirus pandemic will only solidify that support.