Beshear, lawmakers spar over hospital staff shortages

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov Andy Beshear and some state lawmakers are still at odds with coming up with a plan to combat the healthcare worker shortage in the state. And the debate comes as 63 of 96 hospitals in the state say they have a critical staff shortage.

During his ‘Team Kentucky’ briefing Thursday, the governor was asked about a letter he received Thursday from state Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers disputing Beshear’s Sept. 20 comments abut a plan and funding to help hospitals attract and keep staff.

Stivers letter outlined three different funding options to help attract workers. Beshear said the options weren’t really a plan and he wasn’t calling a special session of the Legislature until lawmakers actually agree on a plan and what to do.

He also worried that more money might “escalate the arms race” about higher wages. He also touted the things his administration has done for the medical community, including more than $1 billion in funding, federal and state medical assistance from FEMA and the national Guard, testing and supplies and other services.

“There’s policymaking and there’s politics in Frankfort. I’ve shown that I can sit down and work with anyone and I’m willing to but they need to be able to sit down, too,” explained Beshear.

At this time, the Governor says the written plan is the bill that was previously filed, however it doesn’t show where the money is coming from.

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