(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of the Section 1115 Medicaid waiver submitted by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration that strives to move able-bodied adults from welfare to work, thus removing them from government dependency.
The waiver, which was recently struck down by a federal judge in Washington. D.C., as “arbitrary and capricious” is no such thing, said Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters.
“It is a thorough, thoughtful approach that seeks to reduce dependency but also ensure the sustainability of Medicaid for the truly needy and disabled who depend on its resources – a goal that both sides of the political aisle in Kentucky should strive to achieve,” Waters said.
Individuals and groups nationwide submitted comments in support of these commonsense reforms. Read the Bluegrass Institute’s submitted comments here.
“Kentucky, not Washington, knows best how to determine and take care of those for whom Medicaid was created — the truly disabled and indigent,” Waters said. “What’s ‘arbitrary and capricious’ is for a judge sitting in his black-robed ivory tower in far-away Washington, D.C., to rule against these commonsense reforms without any guidance for covering the skyrocketing costs of Medicaid expansion for states like Kentucky without affecting funding for other government programs.”
The cost of providing benefits to able-bodied adults without dependents or disabilities who became Medicaid recipients as a result of that expansion increased from $667 million in 2013 to more than $4 billion in 2015 as enrollment ballooned from 133,000 to 633,000.
Both supporters and opponents agree that around 95,000 recipients who enrolled in Medicaid as a result of the expansion would likely lose coverage under Bevin’s reforms.This means fewer than one in six able-bodied adults now receiving taxpayer-funded health insurance would drop off the rolls.
“The fact is, many of those who drop off will do so because they find good jobs and traditional insurance in the private sector,” Waters said. “The Bevin administration’s reforms aim to reduce, rather than encourage and enhance, dependency on welfare programs, and offer a model for Medicaid reform in other states.”
For more information, please contact Jim Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org, 859.444.5630 (office) or 270.320.4376 (cell).