Kentucky’s Governor Steve Beshear has basked in national media limelight recently for his single-handed efforts to push his Southern red state into ObamaCare. His new fans should take a closer look.
Beshear has actually made it impossible for his state to participate in ObamaCare despite his public pronouncements to the contrary. Court records show Beshear violated state law KRS 12.028 in attempting to create a state-run ObamaCare “exchange,” and then violated state law again to cover up his actions when they were discovered. (Franklin Circuit Court 13-CI-000423)
Beshear’s scheme became exposed in an August 21, 2013 Health and Welfare Interim Joint Committee meeting in which Democratic Chairman Tom Burch initially put ratification of the “exchange” on the agenda, but stormed out of the meeting ranting about federal law when the debate turned to the merits of the action and what few ObamaCare supporters were in attendance beat a path to the exits.
It’s a similar story on the Medicaid expansion, with a different court case, a different statute, but a similar, if more decisive result. While the “exchange” could theoretically be ratified by the General Assembly at a later date, the ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion can’t now be legally implemented, ever.
The operative statute here is KRS 205.520(3), which provides for the state’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Family Services to any operate “by regulation” in order to qualify for federal funds for state “medical assistance.” A taxpayer plaintiff filed suit in May (Franklin Circuit Court 13-CI-000605) arguing that the law was not being followed in achieving the promised funds of the Medicaid Expansion. The funny thing about that is the Governor had not yet broken the law, but in defending himself in the lawsuit, he did.
First, Beshear tried to defeat the lawsuit by claiming that no case existed because no official regulatory action had been taken and so the case was merely speculative. This did not fool Judge Phillip Shepherd, who allowed the case to continue. The plaintiff then filed a motion for temporary injunction, claiming that since Beshear had taken no official action that forcing continued delay would cause him no harm. Beshear responded that regulatory action had begun and the motion was defeated, but further investigation revealed that claim to be false and that nothing creating a legal path for acceptance of the Medicaid Expansion “by regulation” had, in fact, occurred.
To date, no action initiating the regulatory process has begun and it is now too late. At issue is the false claim by Democrats elsewhere that states may unilaterally withdraw from the Medicaid Expansion later when they realize it is unaffordable. Beshear even provided the Court with falsified “evidence” to suggest that Kentucky had been given special permission to make such a move when the state, in fact, had not. This falsification is currently a matter before the Court as a motion for sanctions.
While the national media is breathlessly hunting Republican Governors willing to flip-flop in favor of Medicaid Expansion, they should take a good look at a Democratic Governor going the other way.