Beshear develops website to track his fight for more affordable health care online

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US health care

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentuckians can now visit ag.ky.gov/healthcare to track Attorney General Andy Beshear’s fight for better, more affordable health care.

Beshear said the website provides an opportunity for Kentuckians to learn about what is truly at stake in three legal cases that he has joined to ensure health care and pharmacy benefits are not taken away from more than 1.3 million Kentuckians

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Beshear and attorneys general from15 other states and the District of Columbia are arguing that if the case is not overturned Kentuckians and Americans will be harmed in 10 ways:

  1. Those with pre-existing medical conditions, like acne, asthma, cancer, COPD and diabetes, may no longer be able to get health insurance
  2. Expanded Medicaid would be eliminated
  3. Children under the age of 26 would not be able to remain on their parents’ insurance
  4. Seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs
  5. Women would once again be charged more than men
  6. Guaranteed pregnancy coverage would be eliminated
  7. Substance Use Disorder Treatment would no longer be a required benefit
  8. Rural hospitals would suffer
  9. Children would lose access to no-cost immunizations and well-child visits
  10. Older Kentuckians would be charged vastly more than younger ones.

The case is currently on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where a briefing schedule has been set. The brief by Beshear and the coalition of attorneys general is due March 25, 2019.

In the second case, Beshear and 10 state attorneys general, along with the District of Columbia, are asking a federal court to reject the U.S. Department of Labor’s Association Health Plan (AHP) Rule that would allow individual and small group health plans to not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Beshear said the group is seeking to invalidate the regulations that they say will cause the country to return to a time when insurance companies could discriminate in premiums or coverage against individual and small business employees based on pre-existing conditions, age and gender.

Beshear said that if the rule is left to stand, employees on these health plans are also subject to lose tax incentives that help them afford coverage and prescriptions.

Oral argument in this case occurred in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Jan. 24, 2019, and the AGs are awaiting a decision.

In the third case, Kentucky, 17 other states and the District of Columbia sued to force the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue federal payments to insurance companies that reduce monthly insurance premiums for many low- and middle-income families. Even though the ACA requires these payments, beginning in October 2017, the federal government refused to make the required payments.

Beshear said the case is currently on hold as insurance companies found an innovative way to collect the payments without charging most families more, but if the funding status changes the AGs are prepared to move the case forward.