As another lackluster legislative session has come and gone in the commonwealth, our elected officials have already subjected us to laughable claims that Senate Bill 2, a new piece of legislation masquerading as true public pension reform, is one of the greatest laws passed in Kentucky history. The truth is that SB2 fails to solve even 10 percent of our rapidly growing unfunded public pension liability.
But perhaps the hardest truths to come by for denizens of the Bluegrass state are the realities found within the nearly 20,000 pages of extreme ideology and convoluted regulations that make up Obamacare legislation.
And unfortunately, a new Congressional report is likely to make Kentuckians feel as if those 20,000 pages are tied to the backs of each and every individual in the commonwealth.
According to the release entitled “The Price of Obamacare’s Broken Promises,” premiums for healthcare in Kentucky are set to rise by between 65 and 106 percent due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The bulk of these price increases are due to another kind of truth – economic truth.
And the economic truth is that incentives matter.
By forcing healthcare companies to sell one-size-fits-all insurance to any individual at nearly uniform rates, incentives to practice healthy lifestyles and seek preventative care go up in smoke. Why? Because so much of the costs of behaving in such expensive and destructive ways can be passed on to the next guy.
Mandating benefits and turning a blind eye to the differences in health risks between different people will only serve to drive up costs for individual insurers and employer-group providers alike.
Despite the assured rise in costs to his constituency, Gov. Beshear was one of the first last year to sign an executive order unilaterally establishing Obama’s health exchanges in the commonwealth. Without any input from the legislature, our brave leader has subjected individuals and employers alike to the financial disaster and moral monstrosity of the individual mandate.
Thankfully, Beshear has yet to do the President’s bidding once again by expanding Medicaid in Kentucky. And that’s good news for Kentuckians sick of having their wallets crunched.
A recent release from the Heritage Foundation shows that Kentucky would be one of forty other states to see significant increases in costs as a result of proposed Medicaid expansion, costs totaling $846 million over the next ten years. But by all recent accounts on the issue, the good governor is still leaning toward acquiescing to Washington, once again.
It’s projections like these – of 100% rises in healthcare premiums and nearly $1 billion in extra taxpayer burdens – that might cause Kentuckians to give up hope for any escape from the all-consuming federal health mandates.
But the truth is that there is hope.
By making our voices heard loud and clear, Kentuckians can keep Beshear from expanding Medicaid, and ensure that Kentucky does what Oklahoma, Kansas, and Washington each did before him – return the millions of dollars in palm-greasing provided to the governor to establish Obamacare and free Kentuckians from the shackles of the individual mandate.
If Beshear finds the courage to do this, the PPACA would be powerless to enforce the individual mandate on the 157,459 low and middle-income Kentuckians currently targeted by Obamacare. These are the people who can least afford Gov. Beshear’s sycophancy.
Just think how many others could be let off the political guillotine if only our elected officials would give us some truth.