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Republican Leader Calls On Beshear to Opt Out of Medicaid Expansion

The highest-ranking Republican in the Kentucky state House is calling on Governor Steve Beshear to reject an expansion of Medicaid set forth in the Affordable Care Act.The Supreme Court ruling on the healthcare law allows states to opt out of the expansion of the program. House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover wants Beshear to follow other states that have opted out.Hoover says expanding the program in Kentucky would put an even bigger burden on the state budget, even with managed care operators running the system.“But if Kentucky does not opt out of this Medicaid expansion, we will see further reductions in our funding levels for educations and other things or we will have to face a significant tax increase, which obviously no one wants,” he says.Beshear has said he is reviewing the court’s ruling before deciding whether to expand Medicaid.The governor also says he is readying an executive order to set up state-run health insurance exchanges, another part of the law.Currently, Medicaid is one of the largest drains on the state budget, even with a private management system in place.And Hoover says those who would qualify for the expanded Medicaid program have other avenues for health care.“There’s still a safety net in place for those who truly need it. But we just believe that now we should opt out of bringing on new people into the Medicaid system in Kentucky,” he says.