March 27, 2016
State Rep. Jim Wayne
State Rep. Joni Jenkins
State Rep. George Brown
State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian
State Rep. Darryl Owens
State Rep. David Watkins
State Rep. Tom Burch
The superbly accurate reporting of the Louisville Courier Journal’s Deborah Yetter, which outlines in detail the outrageous lies and subterfuge perpetrated upon Kentuckians by Gov. Matt Bevin regarding kynect, Benefind and expanded Medicaid, has pushed our outrage to the limit.
Gone are our assumptions that the Bevin Administration is just incompetent and ignorant of Kentucky’s complicated healthcare systems.
Instead we are now unequivocally convinced that Gov. Bevin’s goal is to deprive hundreds of thousands of families, children and seniors of the excellent healthcare kynect and expanded Medicaid is providing.
Despite incontrovertible evidence that Kentucky’s expanded Medicaid and kynect programs have created historic increases in Kentuckians’ access to healthcare and produced unprecedented economic development in the healthcare industry, Gov. Bevin refuses to believe the proof of these programs’ successes.
He turns a blind eye to the evidence and continues to repeat his dark promise to get rid of these programs.
Look at the evolution of chicanery, deception and fabrication the Bevin Administration has employed to date.
• Matt Bevin sailed into the governor’s office with the promise to get rid of “Obamacare”, the Republicans’ deliberately misleading moniker for Kentucky’s home grown, nationally recognized and highly successful healthcare programs.
• Gov. Bevin, in his first weeks in office, cancelled the contract for all advertising for kynect and eliminated the vitally important kynectors. This dramatically complicated and reduced access for hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians.
• Next, we Democrats on the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources fumed as Cabinet Sec. Vicky Glisson spent weeks dodging our requests for information and fiscal evidence these programs weren’t sustainable as was being constantly brayed by Gov. Bevin.
• When we reached the point where we considered using subpoena power to extract the requested information, Sec. Glisson provided a PowerPoint which used questionable accounting methods to justify Gov. Bevin’s promise to dismantle kynect.
• To make matters worse, the new administration has even managed to bungle the roll out of another program, Benefind, which was engineered by former Gov Beshear solely for the purpose of complementing kynect to help consumers find supplemental assistance such as food stamps.
• Inexplicably, the Bevin administration has attempted to convert many people off of kynect and onto Benefind for healthcare purposes.
• Since the rollout of Benefind two weeks ago, massive, potentially catastrophic results have occurred.
• Thousands of Kentuckians have received letters requesting information already provided, been denied services by their doctors because their policies are unknowingly cancelled, and refused life saving medications at pharmacies because their medical cards are invalid.
Why? Because the Bevin administration has gerrymandered the Benefind program to be something it is not, the online portal and rules engine for Medicaid in Kentucky.
Gov. Bevin, obviously realizing the disastrous consequences of his administration’s deceit as his very voters are being terminated from their policies, has now ramped up his mendacity and harmful intent to mislead.
He has laid the blame of the dreadful Benefind rollout on Gov. Beshear and his IT team stating in a video message this week to his own employees (experiencing colossal call volume and frustration with the new program) that “we were told this was ready to go, it’s a program that’s been developed for years.”
This message flies in the face of Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover’s comments on the House floor last week as we passed House Bills 5 and 6 to preserve kynect and expanded Medicaid.
Republican Hoover said “The shift to healthcare.gov will not cause a single person or policy to be cancelled or a single person to lose coverage.”
The ultimate, outrageous irony of Gov. Bevin’s and the Republicans scheme is that they want to take a state program and convert it to a federal government program. This is in direct conflict of their own party’s often touted doctrine of Americans needing smaller government and less federal intrusion.
We now stand at a terrifying crossroads in Kentucky history.
Are we going to allow this governor to rip away a healthcare system that has provided coverage for 1.4 million people, created 14,500 healthcare jobs, decreased emergency room visits, made hospitals profitable, poured billions into local economies and fostered a healthier population?
Or will Kentuckians mobilize in solidarity against Gov. Bevin’s deplorable mission to destroy kynect and expanded Medicaid, a mission that is already causing much pain, anguish and suffering for so many?
In the days remaining in the General Assembly, the Senate can still act on House Bills 5 and 6 passed overwhelmingly by the Democratically controlled House, to preserve the successful kynect program that is saving human lives and investing in our state’s economy.
We implore Kentuckians to immediately contact Gov. Bevin and their state senators to let them know how important the continued healthcare of our citizens is and demand they pass House Bills 5 and 6.
Shortly after 7 P.M. Saturday evening March 26, Lawrence County E-911 received a call of an ATV accident on Irish Creek Road between the Webbville and Blaine area. The caller reported that a single person, a male individual who was the driver of the ATV, had went over a steep hillside ravine and had suffered “significant” injuries and was mostly unresponsive.
Multiple fire and rescues agencies quickly responded to the accident scene, where emergency crews and personnel discovered the injured party was located around 150 feet down a steep hillside ravine.
Rappelling equipment was brought in to help retrieve in the rescue of the injured man, whose identity has not yet been revealed by emergency officials.
The rescue took well over an hour to bring the injured man from the precarious hillside terrain to a waiting ambulance that brought the patient to a landing zone to transport him via an air medical ambulance helicopter from Healthnet 7 / Kentucky 9, out Debord, Kentucky; in Martin County; to a hospital trauma center in Huntington, West Virginia. The man’s condition remains unknown at this time.
The following fire and rescue departments that responded to help get the the injured ATV rider off the hill and to a landing zone so he could be flown to a trauma center were: Netcare Ambulance Lawrence County, Lawrence County Emergency Management, Fallsburg Fire Department, City of Louisa Fire Department, Lawrence County Search and Rescue, Webbville Volunteer Fire Department and Healthnet 7 / Kentucky 9 air medical transport.
The ATV accident marked the second vehicle accident of the day in the local area.
Shortly before 5 P.M., the City of Louisa Fire Department and Netcare Ambulance Lawrence County responded to a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of KY 2565 and U.S. 23.
Two unidentified individuals who were involved in the car accident were transported by ambulances to Three Rivers Medical Center with what was described as “minor to moderate” injuries.
The Levisa Lazer will provide further updates on both accidents (especially the ATV wreck) if any additional information can be gathered.
Office of the Kentucky House Speaker