With former governor back in spotlight, Bevin blasts Kentucky's health exchange

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKYT/AP) - Calling Kentucky’s health care exchange a disaster, Gov. Matt Bevin told reporters outside White House on Monday that the state’s program created under former Gov. Steve Beshear wasn’t the shining example Democrats made it out to be.

Gov. Matt Bevin talks with reporters outside the White House on Feb. 27

“In Kentucky, we have long been touted as an example of the opposite, I am telling you as a fact that it has been an unmitigated disaster,” Bevin said. “The whole point of health care coverage is of no value if you don't create better health care outcomes."

Beshear -- a senior Democrat best known for putting the Affordable Care Act into effect in a deeply conservative state -- will give his party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday.

"It's an interesting choice, frankly, because he unilaterally choose to expand Medicaid in Kentucky, enrolled hundreds of thousands of people, and that result has been a remarkable decline in access to health care in Kentucky,” Bevin, who replaced the term-limited Democrat in the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion in 2015, said Monday. “More people covered, but covered by what?"

Bevin was at the White House as governors from around the U.S. met with President Donald Trump and congressional leaders.

While the governors say they're grateful that the White House is listening to their concerns about a health-care overhaul, but they still disagree on the best approaches for their states and the nation.

Trump and GOP leaders have pledged to repeal and replace the 2010 health-care law. Governors don't want to see costs passed on to states but differ on most other details.

Bevin and other governors received a sobering report over the weekend about the potential consequences of repealing the Obama-era health care law warns that federal spending cuts probably would create funding gaps for states and threaten many people with the loss of insurance coverage.

The Affordable Care Act has two main components for expanding coverage: subsidized private health insurance available in all 50 states, and an optional Medicaid expansion that has been accepted by 31 states and the District of Columbia. Those two components of the health law cover more than 20 million people.

A report by the consulting firms Avalere Health and McKinsey & Company concluded that the changes under consideration by the GOP-led House would reduce significantly federal dollars for Medicaid and subsidized private insurance.

The report was presented to the nation's governors over the weekend and obtained by The Associated Press.

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