Kentucky Hospitals Joining Bevin Lawsuit Over Medicaid Changes

Mar 27, 2018

Credit Natalia Merzlyakova, 123rf Stock Photo

A trade group representing every Kentucky hospital is getting involved in Gov. Matt Bevin’s lawsuit against 16 Kentuckians over the state’s impending changes to Medicaid.

Those changes, including a community engagement requirement, lock-out periods and premiums for some enrollees, are set to roll out beginning in July.

In January, the Kentucky residents filed a federal suit in Washington D.C. arguing that the Republican governor’s changes, dubbed ‘Kentucky HEALTH’, are illegal.

In February, Bevin filed a separate federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Kentucky. The suit asked for a ruling that the approved changes are lawful.

The Kentucky Hospital Association is now intervening in Gov. Bevin’s lawsuit.

KHA attorney Wesley Butler said that its member hospitals need to be part of whatever arguments are made because health providers will be a big part of the implemented changes.

“We recognize that the government has to make some difficult choices to manage a large program. We would much rather us be proactive in managing those issues rather than allowing them to deteriorate as the program tends to do with a lack of innovation,” said Butler.

The residents’ lawsuit in Washington is pending under Judge James Boasberg, a judge appointed by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Meanwhile, the majority of district judges in the Eastern District of Kentucky were appointed by a Republican president.