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Beshear Resisting Calls So Far to Opt Out of Expanded Medicaid Program

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is not joining other Kentucky  officials in calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Many leading Republicans in the state—including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—have pushed for full repeal of the healthcare law. But in an interview with NPR, Beshear said they're playing politics.

“Quite honestly, you know it’s a presidential election year. I think there are a lot of folks out on the stump making exaggerated comments. And I’m hopeful that common sense will prevail after November and we get the presidential election over with,” he says.

Others have encouraged Beshear to opt out the law's mandates for a state-run health exchange and an expansion of Medicaid.

Beshear has already promised to set up the exchange. But the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the ACA gives states the ability to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. The federal government will pay all expansion costs for the first three years, and Beshear says he’s still looking at the long-term costs.

“We’ve got a lot of uninsured people in Kentucky. I want them to have access to healthcare because the more Kentuckians that have access to healthcare the healthier these Kentuckians will be and quiet honestly the less long term it will cost us in healthcare,” he said.

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