State Senators Dispute Kentucky's Health Reform Success Story

Jan 31, 2014

A statement made by State Senate President Robert Stivers on the Senate floor Thursday kicked off more than an hour of debate about health reform.

Senate president Robert Stivers
Credit Josh James / WUKY

The Republican leader took issue with the characterization of Kentucky’s implementation of Affordable Care Act reforms as a “success.”

"Success was creating a website. The product that's been cast upon us that's been known as Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster," Stivers said in an emotional statement.

He pointed to numbers from the executive branch showing 165,000 Kentucky residents no longer having access to their previous private or group plans.

"We have spent over a hundred million dollars to, by their numbers and giving them the benefit of the doubt, affect 5,000 people more than we hurt," Stivers argued.

Kentucky Dept. of Insurance spokeswoman Ronda Sloan says her department does not consider those policyholders as having "lost" plans.

She tells WUKY roughly 48,000 of those affected could stick with old plans that were grandfathered in. Another 64,000 could extend their plans for another year under the transitional relief measure announced last November by the White House after critics blasted the administration for misleading the public.

Sloan says many who received cancelation notices were not thrown off of their insurance but rather enrolled in new ACA-compliant plans.