'Vindictive and Cruel': After Work Requirements Struck Down, GOP Governor Cancels Dental and Vision Medicaid Coverage for 460,000 in Kentucky

"After a federal judge blocked Kentucky's gutting of Medicaid, which would throw 95,000 off coverage, the governor responded with a Trumpian tantrum."


A small group of activists rally against the GOP health care plan outside of the Metropolitan Republican Club. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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 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."


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