Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear has vowed to give health care coverage to all black residents, and refused to comment on how the state would defend against a lawsuit should someone allege the action is illegal race-based discrimination against non-black people.
Black Kentuckians make up 8.4% of the state’s population, according to Census data.
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Offering few specifics, Gov. Beshear said his administration is committed to putting money into it and ensuring that 100% of the state’s black residents have health insurance.
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“Every single individual in our African-American communities is to have a form of health-care coverage,” Beshear said. “We’re going to put money into it, we’re going to put people into it, we’re going to make sure the community anchors are part of it.”
Bloomberg Law reported the plan is to use state-paid “health insurance connectors” that will reach out to black residents and help them apply for insurance. Coverage could be obtained through Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion, private plans, or federal plans for which the individuals apply.
A similar strategy was used to sign up residents when the Affordable Care Act was launched.
The connectors will work until every single black Kentuckian has coverage, Beshear said.
Beshear didn’t immediately comment on how he would provide coverage to people who don’t currently qualify for expanded Medicaid and don’t have insurance through their employer.