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Gubernatorial Candidates Spar In First Televised Debate


The three candidates vying to become Kentucky’s next Governor faced off last night in their first televised debate.  The event was sponsored by the Bluegrass Poll media partners.

The future of health care was front and center during last night’s gubernatorial debate and in particular, Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid.  Republican Matt Bevin said the state cannot continue to have the growth of 25 to 30 percent in the system and expect Medicaid to remain stable as it currently exists.  “In the same way that we expanded this with executive action, to apply to CMS for 11-15 waivers, to use those dollars to customize a solution specifically for Kentuckians.  We want to have as many Kentuckians as we possibly can cover with as much health care as is possible at the most affordable price for the Kentucky taxpayer.”

Democrat Jack Conway said he would stay the course.  “I would continue upon what Governor Steve Beshear has done.  What my opponent Mr. Bevin has said very clearly is that he would take an action that absolutely no doubt about it he would reverse that immediately.  In effect, that’s going to kick a half a million people off of health insurance based on something we can or can’t afford in 2021.  If we can’t afford something in 2021 we can always scale back but I think that the action that Mr. Bevin proposes is callous.”

Drew Curtis, who is running as in Independent said he would follow the advice in the most recent Medicaid expansion report.  “We should be able to pay for the first round of expense that the state is going to rack up for the Medicaid expansion in 2017.  It also projects that we should make it to the 10% level in 2020.  Given that and given this fact the we have already forced people to make a broad transition as it is which is not costless in the slightest, my recommendation would be to leave it alone as it is.”

The candidates were also asked about, and rarely saw eye-to-eye over pensions, gun laws, tax issues and the case of the Rowan County Clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.