UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Gov. Matt Bevin’s waiver to make changes to Medicaid in Kentucky is a step in the right direction to keep people covered while controlling costs, Kentucky U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie told the business community at the Kentucky Chamber’s Congressional Forum Monday.
Guthrie, who has been placed on a Congressional task force to look at what changes can be made to Medicaid, said changes to the system must be made as it is bankrupting the country and taking away funds for other areas.
At the state level, Guthrie said the waiver submitted by the Bevin administration which seeks to keep the Medicaid expansion in the state while controlling costs is a good plan and “99 percent of Kentuckians” think the Bevin plan is reasonable.
Guthrie said the new Kentucky governor is not there to say no to Medicaid and shut it down but rather to make the assistance system more closely resemble an insurance plan to help with a healthcare transition rather than setting it up for people to stay on Medicaid throughout their lives.
In his speech at the Congressional Forum, Guthrie said the effectiveness of the work of his task force will be determined by who is elected president in 2016 but he hopes some positive changes can be made.
Regulations, Guthrie said, are the main issue he hears about when talking to businesses. And he added that he believes Congress and the executive branch has been over-reaching in these areas.
When talking about over-reach, Guthrie said even if it is Republican nominee Donald Trump who is elected in 2016 and he feels Trump is over-stepping his bounds as president, Guthrie will have something to say about it because he believes the over-reach needs to stop.
On workforce issues, Guthrie noted the federal bill that was passed in 2015 brings power back to local areas noting that the needs of local communities are very different. Guthrie says he hopes the legislation and changes that come with it will help address the workforce issues being faced by the business community.
Watch video of Guthrie’s remarks here: