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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Steve Beshear Proclaims He Is "Standing Up For Kentucky [With Medicaid Fix]".

Steve Beshear | Standing up for Kentucky
Written by Steve Beshear

When the Kentucky House of Representatives gaveled sine die on Thursday, they effectively brought a merciful end to an unnecessary special legislative session that wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money … that needlessly raised anxiety levels for everyone from health care workers to health care recipients to teachers to police officers … and that diverted energy and attention from ongoing efforts to create jobs, improve our schools and take care of our families.

It was a courageous vote.

I congratulate them — Democrats and Republicans alike.

By accepting the Senate Majority's stubborn and unconscionable rewriting of House Bill 1, so that the bill could come to my desk, the House enabled me to come forward Friday with my veto pen and restore common sense to the mission of rebalancing the state's 2011 Medicaid budget.

This mission started as a simple problem — a shortfall that came to light several months ago.

In November, we proposed a solution to that problem that was simple, reasonable and founded on programs that have worked in other states.

We proposed filling the shortfall in the 2011 Medicaid budget with money from the 2012 Medicaid budget, then filling the newly created hole with efficiency measures and with new managed-care delivery principles that many states have used to reduce their Medicaid costs.

It was a short-term fix with long-term gain.

But over the last few weeks, forces in Frankfort who do not share the same values as the people of this state escalated this problem into a momentous battle that jeopardized our very ability to educate our children, provide health care for our vulnerable populations and keep our streets safe.

Rather than solve the Medicaid problem with Medicaid money, the Senate Majority insisted on unnecessary across-the-board cuts to core services.

On Friday, however, I took decisive action to fill the shortfall and prevent those cuts.

In doing so we stood up for Kentucky's schoolchildren, teachers, state troopers, veterans, social workers and many others. ...

Editor's note: to continue reading, go to linked caption.



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