Is Governor Matt Bevin Really Pro-Life?
Throughout all the speeches of the Presidential primary campaigns one candidate actually made some sense. "Being Pro-Life does not only mean concern for life in the womb, but also outside of the womb. That's when it's the most difficult." Why is it that our poorest counties have had that highest rates of premature deaths? Governor Beshear addressed this critical issue by extending Medicaid coverage and the ACA, known here as KYnet. Did it work? You bet it did, and helped 500,000 Kentuckians obtain health insurance for the first time. But the new Governor now wants to undo all that. Is that really being pro-life? I think not.
What are the facts? Those Kentucky counties in our South Eastern corner have the highest levels of unemployment, three to four times higher. These same counties also have the lowest levels of household incomes. The Kentucky Institute of Medicine conducted a county by county evaluation of community health conditions throughout the Commonwealth. The study presented a detailed report of health factors: behavioral, demographic, health assessments, health outcomes, and cancer rates for each and every county. Counties on the bottom of the list included: Wolfe, Clay, Harland, Perry, and McCreary. The most health counties were: Oldham, Boone, Jessamine, Anderson, and Woodford. One critical difference between the healthiest and the sickest was the difference of level of health coverage in each individual county.
Back to the pro-life posture. Enter the new Governor's health policies, those directly affecting residents of the poorer counties who will now be obligated to pay co-pays or insurance premiums. Will his procedures make insurance coverage more or less available to those who need it most? Will it extend life expectancy for those facing chronic illness? The answer is obvious. So is Governor really pro-life? Not if you are poor, unemployed, with a family history of diabetes, lung disease, cancer, one with a high infant mortality rate and or low birth weights. If those are your conditions, then you must belong to those of the "unworthy poor", and perhaps are responsible for your current condition, and poor life choices?
For those who find themselves living in counties on the bottom of the wellness list, health insurance, no matter what it is called, is a matter of life or death. As one legislator, struggling with cancer recently said, "If anyone is this ill without health insurance, then they have only one of two choices - death or bankruptcy". Those living in the poorest counties don't have to worry about bankruptcy - they are already there. But yes, Governor Bevin they do have skin in the game - their own. Now, all that is left for them is to wait for your death sentence by reducing or eliminating their health insurance. Are you really a pro-life Governor?