Kentucky has faced the health care challenge for several years. Of the approximately 4 million citizens of the Commonwealth, around 700,000 are on Medicaid, and about 500,000 have no insurance at all. While we have improved this situation, there is more to be done. There is no "silver bullet" solution.
a) Tort Reform -- While it is not the only driver in increased health care cost, the threat of law suits without limits add significant cost and is a disincentive for doctors to locate in Kentucky. This is an area we can control if we can get 60% of the House and 60% of the Senate to take action. Tort reform has been portrayed as a threat to the right of people to sue, but that could not be further from the truth. Instead, it would merely allow the General Assembly to address the situation, which we are currently prohibited from doing.
b) Inter-State Compacts -- Kentucky has entered into compacts with other states to allow insurance companies to offer uniform life insurance products to citizens of all the member states. We must work to do the same with health insurance, as uniform products spread the risk among a greater population and offer cafeteria-type options, providing a choice in the level of coverage--a Kia plan or a Cadillac plan. This approach can save money overall and offer affordable basic coverage to those who now have no coverage at all.
c) Multi-State Compact -- If we are not successful in obtaining a multi-state compact, we should petition the Federal Government to allow Federally chartered insurance plans that could be sold in any state. I would compare it to the difference between a Federally chartered bank and a State chartered bank.