Urgent action needed to protect Health Care for all

Public Comments on Gov. Bevin's Medicaid Changes Due Wednesday, Aug. 2, 11:59PM

COMMENT PERIOD TOOLKIT (from Kentucky Voices for Health)

 

Our Lives Are on the Line

Stand up for basic rights and quality of life

Everyone deserves high-quality and affordable health care. But right now, our health and well-being is under attack by Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul and Governor Matt Bevin.

They are using their powerful positions to unravel health care laws and programs that have helped nearly 500,000 more Kentuckians get health coverage since 2013. Sen. McConnell remains determined to pass his health proposal through the Senate – even though he has failed so far – and take away health coverage for 22 to 32 million people, including hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians. Sen. Paul is demanding the most severe changes to the Affordable Care Act. And Governor Bevin has proposed a complicated new set of rules that would shove 95,000 people off the state’s Medicaid program, limit dental and vision coverage for many more, and make it much harder for Kentuckians to qualify for Medicaid.

Kentuckians deserve so much better. These proposals are immoral, unnecessary, and harmful. Urgent actions are needed right now to stop these attacks and protect affordable health care for all Kentuckians. Here’s what you can do right now:

1.Submit written comments about Governor Bevin’s Medicaid proposal by midnight on August 2 to kyhealth@ky.gov. More information about his proposal and suggested talking points provided by Kentucky Voices for Health can be found here. A suggested outline for written comments is at the bottom of this page.

2. Keep calling Senator McConnell and Senator Paul. We suggest a different message for each, below:

McConnell Field Offices
Louisville – 502-582-6304
Lexington – 859-224-8286
Fort Wright – 859-578-0188
London – 606-864-2026
Bowling Green – 270-781-1673
Paducah – 270-442-4554

Sen. Mitch McConnell

D.C. number: (202) 224-2541

Tweet to @McConnellPress

Sen. McConnell’s online contact form.

Suggested Message: “Your health care plan is unacceptable, unnecessary and wrong and will mean less care and lost jobs here in Kentucky. It puts the interests of the insurance companies, pharmaceutical industry and the wealthy above the best interests of Kentuckians. Improve the Affordable Care Act – don’t gut it.”

Sen. Rand Paul:

Paul Field Offices
Bowling Green – 270-782-8303
Lexington – 859-219-2239
Louisville – 502-582-5341
Owensboro – 270-689-9085
Hopkinsville – 270-885-1212

D.C. number: 202-224-4343

Tweet to @RandPaul

Sen. Paul’s online contact form.

Suggested Message“Your goal for complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act is wrong. Improve the Affordable Care Act – don’t gut it.”

 

Learn more

Infographics


Note these infographics are for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the House GOP bill (AHCA) dismantling the Affordable Care Act.


Here is a suggested framework for written comments about Governor Bevin’s Medicaid proposal

1. Introduce yourself and explain why you care about access to quality, affordable health care for all people.

2. Share a brief story about why Kentucky’s Medicaid program matters to you, your family, people you love, and/or people in your community.

3. Describe key problems with Governor Bevin’s proposal. For example:

The Governor’s Medicaid waiver proposal creates new barriers that make it harder for people to qualify for or keep Medicaid coverage, and easier for the state to lock people out of the program for minor infractions.

Bevin’s plan requires Kentucky Medicaid participants to pay a monthly premium of $1-15 and face a $1,000 deductible. The deductible would be paid for out of a health savings account that is funded by the state, but creates unnecessary complexity and administrative costs.

It requires some groups of Medicaid participants to be employed or volunteer without pay for 20-hours a week in exchange for health coverage.

It creates three ways to “lock people out” of Medicaid for six months. You could be locked out if you are unable to pay the monthly premium two months in a row, fail to re-enroll during an open enrollment period, or fail to report changes in your employment or income within 10 days.

It requires people to submit a completed application, including a premium payment and income verification, before Medicaid coverage can begin.

It takes away vision and dental services, and instead requires people to “earn” rewards points to get access to those essential health services. The Governor’s plan would create a complex system to track each person’s reward points, which would be given or taken away by the state to reward or punish specific types of behavior.

Under the Governor’s punitive proposal, many Kentuckians will suffer. It is estimated that 95,000 people will lose coverage because of these changes. Our health and quality of life declines when we lose access to physical and mental health services. We are less employable and less productive employees, and less able to participate in the lives of our families and communities. Kentucky’s hospitals and health care providers, especially those in rural areas, will also be harmed by these changes, which will force cutbacks in health care jobs and result in the closure of some clinics and hospitals.

4. Ask Governor Bevin to withdraw his Medicaid waiver proposal. Remind him that his job is, or should be, to protect and expand access to health care for all Kentuckians, not create new barriers that put our lives and communities at risk.