FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2013) — Two bills that would require the Kentucky General Assembly to authorize state participation in portions of the federal Affordable Care Act were approved Friday by the Senate.
Under the federal legislation, states are given the option to expand their Medicaid coverage to allow more low-income citizens to qualify. Senate Bill 39, sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, would require the legislature to authorize that expansion in Kentucky.
“As the policy-making body, we should be making these decisions,” Denton said.
The measure passed on a 23-13 vote, with some lawmakers expressing concern that the legislature would not have enough time to approve Medicaid expansion by the federal deadline if SB 39 became law.
A second bill approved by the Senate today would address another provision of the federal healthcare law that allows states to choose between a state or federally-managed health insurance program. Senate Bill 40, also sponsored by Denton, would require authorization from the legislature for the creation of a state-run healthcare exchange.
That measure received a 22-12 vote, with one member passing.
Both bills now move to the House for consideration.