Two weeks after the launch of Kynect, Kentucky’s online health exchange where people can shop for health insurance, it’s off to a successful start.
It’s also attracting favorable national attention. And so is Gov. Steve Beshear, who launched Kentucky’s site and accepted the federal expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act despite opposition of some Republicans in the General Assembly.
Wednesday, President Barack Obama noted the success of Kentucky’s program in a meeting with House Democrats, praising Gov. Beshear, said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat who represents Louisville’s 3rd District.
Thursday, speaking on National Public Radio’s “The Take Away,” Gov. Beshear said he pushed forward with the health law, making Kentucky the only Southern state to create its own health exchange and expand Medicaid, because it offers the state an “historic opportunity.”
Kentucky has about 620,000 people with no health coverage and some of the worst health statistics in the nation when it comes to death and disease.
“If there’s a way I can attack that and change the course of history on health care in Kentucky, I’m going to do that,” Gov. Beshear said.
Beshear, whose legacy may well become that of expanding care and improving health statewide, said political debate over the law wasn’t a factor for him.
“This is about our people,” he said. “This is what they need.”
This article first appears in the Courier Journal.