Kentucky tops coverage gains as GOP looks to remake Medicaid

Published: Feb. 4, 2016 at 10:26 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2016 at 10:27 PM EST
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Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A new national survey shows Kentucky and Arkansas lead the nation in the largest drops of the number of people without health insurance.

The Gallup-Healthways survey shows more than 20 percent of Kentuckians did not have health insurance in 2013. Last year, just 7.5 percent of the state's population did not have insurance. Arkansas had a similar drop.

The survey shows states that expanded Medicaid and operated a state exchange outperformed other states in the percentage of people who have insurance. Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has already given the order to dismantle the state exchange and wants to repeal Kentucky's Medicaid expansion and replace it with something else.

A Bevin spokeswoman said being at the top of the survey would be an achievement if it did not mean that one-third of Kentuckians are on government subsidies.

Nationally, the survey found nine states ahead of the pack in reducing the percentage of uninsured residents: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Connecticut and North Dakota.

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