KYnect or Disconnect....That is the Question? joe brennan
A Courier Journal's Community Forum headlined "7 State Representatives Call for Keeping KYnect". I personally salute them for supporting health care measures that have "dramatically improved the lifetimes of reducing Kentucky's dismal health statistics". It is indeed unfortunate that our new Governor, having solicited the votes of many of the Commonwealth's poorest, is now treating them as if they were the "incorrigible" poor from a Dickens novel. Do they have skin in the game? You bet they do, their own. It is either health insurance, many now face bankruptcy, or death, not much of a CHOICE. Without coverage they, like our pension deprived teachers, will, at best, be dependent on government supported social and health services.
Money is but one factor. These are people, and they are, or will be, suffering from all kinds of physical ailments. However, this is not equally true for all Kentuckians. Louisville is a Tale of Two Cities, Kentucky is a Tale of Two States. Our own Kentucky Institute of Medicine's study of County health assessments tells the truth. Let's compare a recent study between Oldham and Wolfe Counties. There we find two opposite realities on the health scale. In a 2007 study, the healthier County had an uncovered insurance rate of 8%, the latter 21%. Fortunately, citizens of the South Eastern corner of the Commonwealth had the highest participation in Governor Beshear's health programs, and there were significant health improvements. Unfortunately, they were visited by the Christmas Grinch, who will soon take away those needed benefits.
What were the differences registered by the insured (I) versus the uninsured (UI)?
Cardiac deaths per 100,000 (I) = 359, versus (UI) = 498
Infant mortality per 1,000 (I) = 6, versus (UI) = 11
Diabetes (I) = 3%, versus (UI) = 9%; Cancer deaths per 100,00 (I) = 207, versus (UI) = 295
Premature Deaths per 100,000 (I) = 10,467, versus (UI) = 11,477
Low Birth rates per 1,00 (I) = 7, versus (UI) = 10 ; Lung Cancer deaths per 100,00 (I) =64 (UI) = 99
There is little doubt that there are two States of Kentucky: Oldham, where the per capita income is $33,072, (many there can afford health premiums and co-pays), and Wolfe, where the per capita income is $17,241, (without KYnect they will be relying on the emergency rooms - forget preventative medicine or medications. The South Eastern Counties also face high unemployment rates. Unless something is done to preserve KYnect, the "incorrigible" poor will continue to be subjected to the ideological obsession of an incorrigible Governor, who is disconnected from the plight of the poor.