In what was described as a "Trumpian tantrum" that comes just days after a federal judge struck down his attempt to impose work requirements on his state's 1.4 million Medicaid recipients, Kentucky's Republican Gov. Matt Bevin on Monday completely canceled dental and vision coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians.
"This action is vindictive and cruel," declared the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represented 15 Kentucky residents in their lawsuit against the state's proposed work requirements, which a federal judge ruled were unlawfully approved by the Trump administration.
Bevin has also warned that he may attempt to go even further, threatening to cancel Kentucky's Medicaid expansion if he is barred from imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients. If Bevin succeeds in rolling back Kentucky's Medicaid expansion—which was implemented under Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear—500,000 people could lose health insurance entirely.
After a federal judge blocked Kentucky's gutting of Medicaid, which would throw >95,000 off coverage, the Governor responded with a Trumpian tantrum: let's hurt lots of people. https://t.co/cn8ceuAdFm— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 2, 2018
Leaders should put people first. Not politics.— Randy Bryce (@IronStache) July 2, 2018
When I get to Congress, I'll keep fighting for Medicare for All, so that EVERYBODY gets the care they need.https://t.co/olHts30Ct4
After celebrating the federal judge's decision to strike down Bevin's work requirements, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) argued that the governor likely doesn't have the legal authority to strip crucial benefits from more than 400,000 of his constituents.
"He said he wants to take dental and vision coverage away," Yarmuth said during a press conference on Monday. "We don't think that's legal either."