Gov. Beshear ends Medicaid waiver requiring recipients to work

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Governor Andy Beshear has ended the battle over a controversial medicaid requirement put into place by former Governor Matt Bevin.

Beshear says if he didn’t do it nearly 100,000 Kentuckians could have lost their health care coverage.

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Governor Beshear made this promise early on. During his campaign he told Kentuckians he would end the Medicaid waiver, requiring people to work to keep their health insurance coverage.

When former Governor Bevin took office he issued an executive order to end the Kentucky Medicaid expansion program if the waiver, known as Kentucky HEALTH, wasn’t put into place.

The waiver would have required those who are able to to work or volunteer 20 hours a week in order to receive Medicaid coverage.

Beshear says this waiver would’ve done more harm than good.

It never went into effect. The waiver’s been caught up in the courts because of lawsuits filed against it.

Beshear says evidence shows most of those losing Medicaid across the country due to the work requirements are already working in jobs, many that don’t offer health benefits.

“The answer to getting people ultimately off of expanding Medicaid is to increase wages. It’s to make sure there are those opportunities for folks who are already working to earn more and ultimately support their family. And this administration is going to be laser-focused on wages,” says Governor Andy Beshear.

In addition to ending the Medicaid waiver, Beshear signed an executive order protecting the state’s Medicaid expansion program that insures almost 500,000 people.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.