Republicans reject governor’s executive order creating health benefits exchange; move is only symbolic for now

Republican legislators voted yesterday against Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order creating the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange, required by federal health reform. Sen. David Givens of Greensburg offered a motion to the legislative Health and Welfare Committee that said Beshear doesn’t have authority to create new agencies, but only to rearrange existing agencies with the legislature’s approval, Nick Storm of cn|2 Pure Politics reports.

Democrats at the meeting were caught off guard and ultimately walked out after raising objections, Storm reports. They claimed Beshear was following federal law, and said the legislature should consider the matter when it reconvenes in January. Legislators hoped they would get answers from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services about costs and operations of the exchange, which they didn’t get at their meeting last month.

The exchange will match up the uninsured with private health insurance companies, and is designed to serve those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have employer-sponsored insurance. After Democrats left the meeting, Republicans voted to report the committee’s findings to the Legislative Research Commission and the governor. The vote remains symbolic unless it is cited in a lawsuit challenging the exchange, which now seems likely. (Read more)

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *