Under the Affordable Care Act, Kentucky could receive federal funds to broaden access to health coverage through Medicaid.
Kentucky Voices of Health said that means for 640,000 Kentuckians who don’t have health insurance, almost half of them could qualify for Medicaid.
David Swinney and his family could be one of the families that would benefit from the federal funds. Swinney said he and his wife only have health insurance for their little boy. So this winter when Swinney got sick, he refused to go to the hospital.
“I just keep taking Tylenol and go on with it,” Swinney said. “Eventually it will quit.”
Swinney said he got a fever on January 1st; and now 24 days later he is still suffering from a temperature that reaches more than 100 degrees once or twice a day.
Swinney’s wife, Teresa, said she made David go to the hospital Sunday. But doctors there referred them to another health department – which is another trip to the doctor they say they can’t afford.
“Now we have that bill,” Teresa said. “I feel horrible. I feel like I can’t do anything. I don’t know what to do.”
If the state does use federal funds for Medicaid, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says it would provide 181,000 of uninsured people in the state with access to preventive care.