Losing Medicaid Matching Program could leave state without millions

By: MacKenzie Bates Email
By: MacKenzie Bates Email

Governor Steve Beshear is calling on Kentucky’s federal lawmakers to push for more money for the state's Medicaid programs.

Beshear sent a letter to Kentucky’s congressional delegation Monday saying the state needs additional Medicaid money to balance a recently passed 17-billion dollar budget.

The governor says without the extra federal money, Kentucky would have to cut $238 Million out of other programs to make up the difference.

I talked to the Governor today and he says it's vital the federal government passes this extension.

The letter says the funding for Medicaid is vital as the state struggles to maintain its fiscal viability in a time of such economic hardship.

The Bill is in the U.S. Senate and it is not known if the funding will be there.

“It will knock a $238 million hole in the budget that we just passed if it is not passed by congress,” Beshear says.

When the General Assembly passed the budget after a special session, The House and Senate anticipated the money WILL be there.

If Lawmakers cannot pass this measure, they will have to cut money from other services.

“Keeping teachers on as well as police and firefighters and public safety folks,” Beshear says. “We'll be in real trouble if we don't get this match.”

A Local Nurse Practitioner says the funding helps both children and adults go to the doctor and pay for medication.

“They will not actually have the means to actually get their medications or to see the doctor if they do not get this extension,” Donald McPherson says.

“That's just a burden that I don't think our taxpayers ought to have to bare,” Beshear says.

Governor Beshear says he could call another special session if the Federal Government does not pass the Medicaid match program.

Senator Mitch McConnell released a statement saying the provision could come before the senate within the next week.

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