GOP nominee says he would renew push for Medicaid work requirement if elected governor in Kentucky

Jul 26, 2023, 12:19 PM

FILE - Kentucky Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron speaks to su...

FILE - Kentucky Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron speaks to supporters during the first stop of his multi-city campaign tour, June 2, 2023, in Richmond, Ky. Cameron said Wednesday, July 26, that he would move quickly as Kentucky's governor to revive a push to require some able-bodied adults to work in exchange for health care coverage through Medicaid. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Republican candidate Daniel Cameron said Wednesday that he would move quickly as Kentucky’s governor to revive a push to require some able-bodied adults to work in exchange for health care coverage through Medicaid.

If he succeeds in unseating Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear later this year, Cameron said his administration would seek federal permission to impose the Medicaid work requirement. The proposed rule would exclude able-bodied adults who are “truly vulnerable,” including those with children or who are pregnant, his campaign said in a follow-up statement. Cameron declared that connecting Medicaid coverage to work for some Kentuckians would raise workforce participation in the post-pandemic era.

“That will be one way in which we tackle the workforce issue,” Cameron said while attending a forum hosted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau, which Beshear did not attend.

The issue of imposing a Medicaid work requirement is yet another stark differences between Cameron and Beshear, who is seeking reelection to a second term in November. Beshear rescinded an attempt by the state’s previous GOP governor, Matt Bevin, to create a Medicaid work requirement that Beshear says would have stripped coverage from about 100,000 Kentuckians.

Cameron, the state’s attorney general, also used his time before the farm bureau officials to lay out his views on agriculture, taxes and spending. The Republican nominee is trying to cultivate strong support in GOP-leaning rural regions to offset Beshear’s expected strength in the metropolitan areas of Louisville and Lexington. Kentucky’s showdown for governor is one of the nation’s most closely watched campaigns this year.

Cameron said he supports policies promoting “generational farming,” enabling Kentuckians to keep farming operations within their families. He said he would “lean on” the GOP-led legislature and his running mate, state Sen. Robby Mills, on whether to pursue new tax exemptions to support agriculture.

Asked about his budget priorities, Cameron pointed to law enforcement. He recently unveiled a public safety plan that included awarding recruitment and retention bonuses to bolster police forces.

“We’re going to prioritize making sure that there is money within our budget to help our law enforcement community,” Cameron said Wednesday.

Beshear has touted his crime-fighting record by noting he pushed for large pay raises for state troopers, as well as increased training for police officers. The governor says he will seek additional funding for police training and body armor to protect law officers if he wins another term.

Cameron, answering a question about taxation, said he wants property taxes to be “as low as possible.”

“But I also recognize that our schools and a lot of local entities rely on some of those taxes,” Cameron added. “And so we’ll have to be smart and deliberative about how we approach this.”

Cameron’s pledge to seek a Medicaid work rule for some able-bodied adults would put an immediate Republican imprint on his administration if he wins in November. Cameron raised the issue during the GOP primary and vowed again Wednesday to make it “one of the first things I will do as governor.”

“If we want the plan and the coverage to exist and remain solvent for those that are means-tested and medically necessary, we need to make the program, as best as possible, transitory – something that folks will come off of if they are able-bodied individuals,” he said at the forum.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state health care program for poor and disabled people. Advocates have said work requirements would become one more hoop for low-income people to jump through, and many could be denied coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork.

In Kentucky, hundreds of thousands were added to the Medicaid rolls when then-Gov. Steve Beshear, the current governor’s father, expanded the program to cover able-bodied adults. For many Kentuckians, it was their first time to have health coverage in a state plagued by high disease rates.

Bevin’s plan would have required that affected recipients either work, study, volunteer or perform other “community engagement” activities to qualify for Medicaid. A federal judge blocked the requirements before they took effect, but Bevin’s administration had appealed until Andy Beshear rescinded those efforts. At the time, Beshear referred to his action as the “moral, faith-driven thing to do.” Beshear, who calls health care a “basic human right,” narrowly defeated Bevin in the 2019 governor’s race.

Cameron’s campaign said Wednesday that his proposal would require affected adults to either work, be enrolled at least part-time in college or be involved in job training or community service to stay on Medicaid.

“We will protect the truly vulnerable but we will not allow able-bodied people to take advantage of taxpayer generosity,” Cameron said in the follow-up statement from his campaign.

United States News

Associated Press

A woman who fled the Maui wildfire on foot has died after weeks in a hospital burn unit

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped a wildfire that destroyed Hawaii community by running through a burning field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Inmate accused of killing corrections officer at Georgia prison

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prison guard died Sunday after he was attacked by an inmate, state officials said. Correctional officer Robert Clark, 42, died at a hospital after an inmate assaulted him with a homemade weapon at Smith State Prison in rural Glennville, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a news release. […]

2 hours ago

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023, in Washington. The new term of the ...

Associated Press

The Supreme Court may tackle guns, abortion in new session starting Monday

Major cases await, as they always do, including several challenges to regulatory agencies and efforts to regulate social media platforms.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Video shows bloodied Black man surrounded by officers during Florida traffic stop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A traffic stop captured on video by a bystander shows a handcuffed Black man with swollen eyes and a bloody face sitting on the ground surrounded by officers outside a vehicle in northeast Florida, and the officers’ law enforcement agency says it has launched an internal review. Force was used while […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Airbnb guest who rented a room tied up, robbed Georgia homeowner at gunpoint, police say

BUFORD, Ga. (AP) — Police say a man who used Airbnb to rent a room in Georgia ended up robbing the home’s owner at gunpoint. A homeowner in the metro Atlanta suburb of Buford called Gwinnett County police saying an armed man who had rented his basement through the room-sharing app had fled after stealing […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

More than 100 search for 9-year-old girl who was camping with family in upstate New York

MOREAU, N.Y. (AP) — Drones, bloodhounds and an airboat were used in the search for a missing 9-year-old girl who had been camping with her family in upstate New York, officials said Sunday. Charlotte Sena was last seen on Saturday evening in Moreau Lake State Park, about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Albany. She […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.

GOP nominee says he would renew push for Medicaid work requirement if elected governor in Kentucky