Kentucky Counties With Highest Medicaid Rates Backed Matt Bevin, Who Plans to Cut Medicaid
John Cheves, Lexington Herald Leader: Kentucky Counties With Highest Medicaid Rates Backed Matt Bevin, Who Plans to Cut Medicaid
Owsley County Judge-Executive Cale Turner, a Democrat, said the election results didn’t surprise him. His constituents wanted to express their opposition to Democratic President Barack Obama and what they perceive as “the liberal agenda” on social issues, Turner said.
“To be honest with you, a lot of folks in Owsley County went to the polls and voted against gay marriage and abortion, and as a result, I’m afraid they voted away their health insurance,” Turner said. “Which was their right to do, I guess. But it’s sad. Many people here signed up with Kynect, and it’s helped them, it’s been an absolute blessing.”
The community’s largest-circulation newspaper, the Three Forks Tradition in Beattyville, did not say much about Kynect ahead of the election. Instead, its editorials roasted Obama and Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, Islam, “liberal race peddlers,” “liberal media,” black criminals and “the radical Black Lives Matter movement.”
“The people I talk to, health care wasn’t even mentioned,” said Gary Cornett, chairman of the Owsley County Republican Party. “In Southeast Kentucky, the social issues are important. We’re a small, traditional, tight-knit community, and there are certain ways we do things.”
The trend seemed to hold across the state. At Transylvania University, political scientist Andrea Malji said she has crunched state data and found a “99 percent confidence level” between the counties’ Medicaid enrollment levels and their gubernatorial choices. The larger the Medicaid numbers, the more likely they were to back Bevin, she said. The lower the Medicaid numbers, the more likely they were to favor the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Jack Conway.
So Bevin — who said during the campaign that “the fact that we have one out of four people in this state on Medicaid is unsustainable” — racked up votes in rural, mostly poor counties where far more of the local population than that holds a Medicaid card. This was true even in traditional Democratic Party strongholds, such as Pike and Breathitt counties.
Read more here: kentucky.com
I read this and just wanted to bang my head on the wall from frustration. The Democratic candidate, Jack Conway didn’t do a very good job of making clear to the voters what the stakes were in this race, and as a result only 31% of registered voters even turned out to vote. Now they are going to pay the price.