Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin warmed to the Medicaid expansion in the 2010 health care overhaul quickly after taking office last month.
At a Dec. 30 press conference, Bevin — a Republican who narrowly won his party’s primary and was elected by a wide margin in November — announced he plans to keep the Obamacare expansion in place, albeit with some tweaks that may or may not be acceptable to federal regulators.
Mimicking a tactic of Republican supporters of the Affordable Care Act in other states, Bevin called for adjustments to Medicaid expansion as part of broader reforms to make Kentuckians “as undependent as possible” on welfare spending.
Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion adds childless, able-bodied, working-age adults to a program previously meant for pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled, children and impoverished families. More than 400,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in the welfare expansion since January 2014.
During his campaign, Bevin pledged to roll back the Medicaid expansion his Democrat predecessor, Steve Beshear, implemented without the Kentucky Legislature’s approval.
“No question about it, I would reverse that immediately,” Bevin said in February.