The Louisville Courier-Journal’s Debora Yetter wrote a story yesterday about Governor Beshear’s plan to drop the $20 monthly premium that some low-income parents had to pay to cover their children under the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP).
Recent changes to health care coverage have expanded access for many throughout Appalachia. In March of this year, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce prepared summaries for all 435 congressional districts, showing a district-level analysis of what the health care reform legislation would mean for each district.
According to the Committee’s analysis, in Rep. Rogers’s district, the health care reform bill will:
Kentucky Voices for Health has analyzed the law and prepared a summary of the impacts on Kentuckians across the Commonwealth, including the opportunity to provide coverage to the 600,000+ Kentuckians currently without coverage. They have collected additional resources on the issue here.
The conversation surrounding access to health care and other such support services is significant – our region has not historically fared well on these issues. In fact, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index puts large parts of Appalachia on the very bottom of rankings listing Life Evaluation, Emotional Health, Physical Health and Healthy Behaviors. By Congressional district, Kentucky’s 5th (Hal Rogers) came in dead last at 435, with West Virginia’s 3rd (Nick Rahall) close behind at 432 – followed by Virginia’s 9th (Rick Boucher) at 424, Ohio’s 6th (Charlie Wilson) at 419 and Tennessee’s 1st (David Davis) at 394.
Access to basic services like health care – particularly for children – must be a part of this Transition conversation. Your ideas about how to expand these efforts and ensure a fair start to Appalachian children are, as always, welcome.