Gov. Bevin reacts to comparisons with President Trump, talks impact of new administration on Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin tells The Bottom Line he will continue to push for the state’s Medicaid waiver, believes a Trump administration will benefit Kentucky in more ways than one, and feels the election of “outsiders” are good for the country.

Comparisons have been made between Gov. Bevin and new President Donald Trump before Trump was even elected in November. The reasons being that both were considered to be outspoken outsiders who had previously never held political office.

When asked how he feels about the parallels made between him and the new president, Bevin said to the extent that those comparisons are true, he does not mind them.

I think in many respects, we do have some similarities. I think that’s good, frankly. I think it’s what allowed each of us to get elected,” Bevin said (starting at 4:00 in the interview). “It’s challenging the notion of how people get elected, what is the path, and what is appropriate for America and for, in our case, Kentucky…it’s how our nation was intended to be run, it’s how it is currently is working here and on a national level. And the proof will be in the pudding but I think it’s going to be good.”

When discussing what a new administration will mean for Kentucky, the Republican governor said he believes the Commonwealth will see many benefits from this new landscape with Kentuckians like U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader , his wife, Elaine Chao, serving as U.S. Transportation Secretary and native Kentuckian Scott Pruitt running the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Bevin said he has spoken to President Trump who has had positive things to say about Kentucky.

“He started bragging about Kentucky and how they’re doing things right and he’s excited about Kentucky, he loves Kentucky. And I just thought ‘how awesome to have the incoming president of the United States who genuinely cares about and knows and loves Kentucky,’” Bevin said (at :30 in the interview).

As the prospects of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act seem more likely in the new political environment, Gov. Bevin said he plans to continue to push the Medicaid waiver submitted by the state to keep the large expanded population of Kentuckians insured while also giving them “skin in the game” when it comes to their own coverage (discussion starting at 2:00 in the interview).

Bevin said he plans to tighten the waiver in some areas as a Trump administration is likely to be more receptive to the plans than a Democratic administration would have been. (Get details of Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid waiver here.)

“This will be good for Kentucky, it will be good for the recipients. It will be good for people assimilating and mainstreaming and getting more in line with what is a commercial policy of insurance and finding a way to transition from the dead end of being dependent entirely on government,” Bevin said.

As for what will be done about the Affordable Care Act, Bevin told The Bottom Line he recently testified in front of a group working on plans to replace the federal health care law and said he would like to see some power returned to the states, where they know the needs of their citizens, through things like block grants or other avenues.

Watch the full interview segment with Bevin about federal politics here:

Check back on The Bottom Line on Friday to see the governor discuss his efforts to cut back on over burdensome regulations in the state.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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