Kentucky Governor Claims Health Insurance Makes People Unhealthy

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin isn’t worried about denying poor people Medicaid because he believes health insurance makes people unhealthy.

In a bizarre interview with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin tried to argue that Medicaid expansion is actually bad for health outcomes.

Bevin made his bizarre claims while attacking Medicaid expansion, and defending the Trump administration’s approval of a new law in Kentucky that would require employment and monthly premiums from low-income workers to access Medicaid.

Critics note that Kentucky’s new “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health” (HEALTH) law championed by Bevin is a mean-spirited attempt to shame and demean recipients of Medicaid, and violates “federal law that establishes Medicaid purely as a health program and does not authorize work requirements.”

On the MSNBC program Bevin claimed:

The intent is to get people engaged in their own health outcome, because what we’ve seen for fifty some odd years of these programs, Medicaid, we are not helping people’s health become better. We’re not. Especially for those who are able-bodied.

An astonished Velshi replied:

That is strange to say, it doesn’t help people’s health get better?

Bevin continued:

In Kentucky, we have more people than ever on Medicaid and we are — we are increasing in leading the nation in things like lung cancer and things like premature deaths and things like diabetes and hypertension and cardiovascular disease and pick the category.

Since we have expanded Medicaid we’ve only gotten worse, so the argument would be that well if you provide coverage, somehow people will be healthier. That is not the case.

(Bevin is obviously wrong here. Correlation does not imply causation. Bevin is assuming that because health trends in Kentucky are trending downward, the presence of expanded medicaid is causing those downward trends. This is wrong. In fact, it could very well be the case that without the expanded coverage the health trends in Kentucky would be even worse.)

Bevin concluded his remarks on MSNBC by suggesting that giving poor people medicare was an instance of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Yea, that’s right, the governor is suggesting that giving people access to healthcare constitutes bigotry. George Orwell would be proud.

Bottom line: The Kentucky Governor is a deplorable, mean-spirited Christian extremist. In the recent past the Bible thumping governor has claimed his critics will burn in hell, has promised to fight violent crime by using “prayer patrols,” and has signed a bill legalizing discrimination against LGBT students.

Even more sinister, if his new law is challenged in court, Bevin has promised to drop nearly 500,000 people from the state’s Medicaid rolls.

And that’s what they call “Christian love.”

Watch the entire interview below –

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Claims Health Insurance Makes People Unhealthy (Image via Flickr)
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Claims Health Insurance Makes People Unhealthy (Image via Flickr)
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