‘Stop Obamacare Rally’

‘Stop Obamacare Rally’ will be held on the front steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This event will protest the federal government’s regulatory overreach as contained in its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and includes an individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. It also requires insurance companies to cover all applicants at the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions.

To contact your legislator, call toll-free (800) 372-7181. You do not have to have to know the name of your legislator. You only need to give your name, address and question. It will then be forwarded to those legislators that represent your area of Kentucky.

To contact the Governor’s office, you will be transferred to a voice mail. All you need to do is leave your name, phone number and question.

Two parts of the federal bill will have colossal economic impact on Kentucky:

(1) The requirement that each state have a government-run health insurance exchange — established either by the state or federal government. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear decided to accept $67 million in federal taxpayers’ dollars to establish an exchange here in Kentucky. In a recent Bluegrass Institute policy report on this issue, John Garen, Ph.D., wrote: “Government-operated exchanges often are portrayed as a market-friendly alternative. However, this is very misleading as the PPACA overlays the exchange with a whole new set of rules that plans and consumers must comply with.”

QUESTION for Gov. Beshear and your legislators: What will happen to the budget and cost of the state-run health exchange if a huge number of Kentucky players decide not to offer health insurance to their employees?

QUESTION for Gov. Beshear and your legislators: Will individuals required to purchase a plan from the exchange be able to buy an inexpensive, high-deductible plan that includes Health Savings Accounts?

 (2) A significant expansion in the number of Americans eligible for Medicaid benefits. In An Unsustainable Path: The Past and Future of Kentucky Medicaid SpendingGaren reports that between 1999 and 2009, total federal and state spending on Kentucky’s Medicaid program rose by 54 percent — from $3.3 billion to $5.1 billion — and Kentucky’s general fund spending on Medicaid increased by 37 percent — from $802 million to $1.1 billion. During the same period, the number of Kentuckians enrolled in the program grew from about 664,000 to roughly 924,000, or 39 percent.

QUESTION for Gov. Beshear: If you as Kentucky’s governor decide to join the federal health-care reform policy’s Medicaid expansion, how will the state pay for the additional costs?

QUESTION for your legislators: Medicaid is a budget buster — at the state, as well as the federal, level. What, if anything, is being done by state lawmakers to restrain the growth of Kentucky’s Medicaid program?