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Republican-Led Kentucky Senate Wants to Defund ACA Through Next State Budget

Kentucky LRC

The Kentucky Senate’s $20 billion budget proposal aims to defund the Affordable Care Act in the commonwealth, but its provisions won’t affect the program.

The Senate’s executive budget that was passed Monday disallows state general funds from being used to fund the ACA, the commonwealth’s Medicaid expansion and the state health insurance exchange, Kynect, all of which are federally funded until the year 2017.

But the state budget only affects fiscal years 2014-2016, making the measure largely a political one in advance of November’s elections.

When asked what his chamber would do if the 321,000 Kentuckians enrolled via Kynect lost their coverage due to the ACA being defunded, Sen. President Robert Stivers said he would support “supplemental programs,” like health savings accounts, to help insure them.

“Some of these people were categorically eligible and were going to come on anyway. We don’t know what that number is,” the Republican leader said. “Then what you want to do, you want to know is what can we do until that point in time, we do what we’ve done now. We go back and we do supplemental programs to take care of all the screenings and everything else.”

Kentucky will begin paying a portion of the costs to fund the state’s Medicaid expansion starting in 2017, with the federal government picking up 95 percent of the cost.

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