In radio interview, Bevin accuses Louisville leaders of ‘political theater’ over Passport Health

In radio interview, Bevin accuses Louisville leaders of ‘political theater’ over Passport Health
Speaking to WEKU-FM radio in Frankfort on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin criticized Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth for their comments on Passport Health.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Speaking to WEKU-FM radio in Frankfort on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin criticized Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth for their comments on Passport Health.

The two Democrats on Monday were among a group publicly calling for state cooperation to help save the non-profit health provider for 310,000 low-income Kentuckians.

Last month, Passport announced it was halting construction on its new headquarters at 18th and Broadway due to financial difficulties brought on by the Bevin administration’s Medicaid cuts.

“What happened (Monday) was a charade, simple as that,” Bevin told WEKU. "If there was truly any desire for real dialogue, all those people that sat and posed up for you all, not one of whom has ever had one conversation, with the possible exception of Sen. (Gerald) Neal, with anyone on my team or with me.

“John Yarmuth never once made one phone call or said one word to anybody in Frankfort about this issue. Neither has Greg Fischer. They’re there for political theater. And if people want political theater, they can have that all day long.”

Bevin also criticized Passport Health for losing $26 million in the six-month period prior to the change in Medicare.

“It would seem from everything we’ve seen that they are bleeding out,” Bevin said. “They are a very poorly-run operation from a financial standpoint.”

CEO Passport Health CEO Mark Carter released a statement saying the Bevin administration had made no attempt to help the company.

“As a nonprofit, we balance fiscal responsibility with making good on our mission to improve the health and quality of life of our more than 310,000 members,” Carter’s statement read. “Gov. Bevin’s leadership team has made clear they do not share these priorities. Leveling such an unfounded allegation, simply to divert attention from the real issue, is at least unnecessary and at worst disrespectful.”

Fischer spokeswoman Jean Porter responded to Bevin’s comments in a statement.

“Yesterday was an important opportunity for the community to express their concerns,” Porter said. “And Mayor Fischer appreciates that Passport, the state and local leaders are working together to try to solve this challenge.”

A spokesman for Yarmuth could not be reached for comment.

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