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Republican state senator goes after Governor Beshear for veto of SB 65

State Sen. Steve West, a Republican, is critical of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for his veto of Senate Bill 65.
Legislative Research Commission
State Sen. Steve West, a Republican, is critical of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for his veto of Senate Bill 65.

Republican State Senator Steve West has accused Gov. Andy Beshear of playing politics by vetoing a bill that would end his expansion of Medicaid dental, vision and hearing benefits. Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 65 last week and blasted the GOP for passing it, saying it would hurt more than 900 thousand Kentuckians. West said it’s not that simple.

“What the administration basically did without legislative approval, is expand services and spend $38 million. That was savings from our PBM bill a few years ago.”

The bill West is referring to allowed the state to switch to a single Medicaid pharmacy provider. Beshear used those savings for the Medicaid expansions. When the General Assembly reconvenes this week, the Republican majority may try to override SB 65. West said the Beshear Administration should have tried to pass the Medicaid expansion in the General Assembly.

“I've had talks with the cabinet and told them if you want to try to do this, then you need to go talk to the chair of Health and Welfare, get his approval, get approval from the committee, get some language to us. And the legislature might approve what you're asking for.”

In his veto message, Beshear said S-B 65 would harm Kentuckians and hurt efforts to increase Kentucky’s workforce.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.