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Vice President Pence To Visit Kentucky For Anti-Obamacare Event

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Lexington Wednesday as part of the White House’s campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act.

According to a news release, Pence will participate in a listening session with business leaders who say they’ve been hurt by Obamacare and then hold an invite-only event at Bryant’s Rent-All, an equipment rental company.

The event comes as Kentucky has once again become a key battleground in the fight over the health care law.

On Sunday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a rally in Covington in which he accused Republican politicians of working against poor Kentuckians’ interests by trying to repeal Obamacare.

Kentucky’s two senators are key players in the Republican debate over how to scale back the law.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell favors a method that would repeal or reduce some of Obamacare’s provisions, including a phase-out of funding for state Medicaid expansions and scrapping taxes on the wealthy and insurance companies that help fund the program.

Meanwhile Sen. Rand Paul says McConnell’s model doesn’t go far enough, arguing that the Affordable Care Act should be totally repealed before lawmakers figure out a replacement plan.

Vice President Pence will be joined by Gov. Matt Bevin, 6th District Congressman Andy Barr and 2nd District Congressman Brett Guthrie at the Lexington event.

Around 500,000 Kentuckians have gotten health coverage through the Obamacare health exchange and expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

Bevin has asked the federal government for permission to change how Medicaid works in Kentucky by requiring most beneficiaries to pay monthly premiums costing between $1 and $15 per month.

The proposal also seeks to require most people on Medicaid to prove that they are working, seeking work or volunteering to keep their coverage.

Bevin said the changes would save the state $358 million by 2021 while shaving about 95,000 people from the state’s Medicaid rolls.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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