LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentuckians on both sides of the aisle, have been reacting to the continuing developments of the republican’s health care bill all day today.
Those in support of the Affordable Care Act are calling this stall of the republican repeal and replacement bill a victory but those campaigning for healthcare reform say they don’t plan on backing down and will now direct their efforts locally to create what they say is necessary change.
After weeks of rallying against the republican-lead healthcare bill, protesters here in Kentucky were happy to see their voices heard in Washington, D.C.
“I’m very excited about that. We have been very, very concerned about the impact of what they’re just trying to just rush through in the legislative process,” said Julie Martinez with Together We Will Bluegrass.
But the news did not come as an excitement for those on the other side of the debate.
“Well I think obviously this is a disappointment but you know at the end of the day the 52 members of the republican caucus are in congress doing what the people that voted for them sent them to do which is to represent their states,” said Tres Watson with the Republican Party of Kentucky.
And for the republican party here in Kentucky, that means putting this federal debate to the side and pushing for state reform, specifically Governor Matt Bevin’s proposal to cut back the medicaid program to save the state an estimated extra $27 million.
“If we can get that waiver approved by the federal government that will give us some short term flexibility. It will keep everyone who was covered by the expanded medicaid on the rolls, keep their benefits going, but with some changes and they’ll have to have some skin in the game,” said Watson.
But for those in favor of the current system, having just got what they saw as a big win at the federal level, that approach to healthcare reform here is not an option.
“I don’t think that that’s the right way to approach it. I think again we should be engaged in a bipartisan effort to work together to figure out the best ways to be both fiscally responsible and provide as much access to healthcare as we can,” said Martinez.
The proposed changes to the state’s medicaid program are currently in the application phase and open to public comment through August second.