Kentucky to sue Trump over end of health insurance subsidy

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WASHINGTON, DC (AP/WTVQ) – President Donald Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that lowered out-of-pocket medical costs for millions of Americans has brought swift reaction from the states.

On Friday, health officials and consumers said they feared the action could chase millions away from coverage.

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Attorneys general in several states, including California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York, said they planned to sue the Trump administration to keep the money flowing.

At issue is a federal subsidy for deductibles and co-pays that helps lower costs for consumers with modest incomes. The Trump administration and many Republicans say the government cannot legally continue to make the so-called cost-sharing payments.

State officials say ending the subsidies will make insurance premiums skyrocket, forcing some consumers to give up having coverage at all.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear released the following statement Friday afternoon:

“Today my office joined an action to force the federal government to follow the law and honor its promises.

Today’s action is not about the president. It is about making the federal government keep its promises and protect the health and prosperity of our Kentucky families. The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has a record of filing suit when the federal government harms Kentucky families, including lawsuits against the last administration.

Roughly 88,000 Kentuckians purchased health insurance through the federal exchange, many in Eastern Kentucky, specifically Elliott, Magoffin, Leslie, Clay and Rockcastle counties. If left unchallenged, these actions by the federal government will cause the health care rates to rise on these Kentucky families by nearly 20 percent.

And every Kentuckian will see increases in the cost of health insurance as companies will pass on the costs of the federal government’s refusal to live up to its word. In the end, we will pay for their broken promises.

Kentuckians face numerous health issues, and our communities are facing the worst drug epidemic our nation has ever seen. Access to affordable health care and drug treatment will move Kentucky forward. It is one of our best hopes. Now is not the time to turn our backs on hard working Kentuckians. I will continue to fight for Kentucky, its families and its future.” – Attorney General Andy Beshear.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.