The Richmond Register

Local News

October 8, 2013

Kynect passes another challenge

FRANKFORT — Kynect, Kentucky’s health benefit exchange under the Affordable Care Act, established by Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order, survived another challenge Tuesday.

Republican state lawmakers have maintained Beshear doesn’t possess the authority to establish the exchange on his own, but a state court ruled the governor has such authority under a law passed by the General Assembly authorizing the governor to take steps necessary to implement federal programs. The ruling is under appeal.

But Kentucky law also requires regulations formulated by the executive branch to be reviewed by the legislature to determine if they are authorized by legislation, something it does through its Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee.

So, when the exchange regulations were put in front of the subcommittee Tuesday, Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticello, challenged the regulation’s statutory authority.

Carrie Banahan, executive director of the exchange, and Bill Nold, the deputy director, cited the same law under which Beshear created the exchange itself as authority for the regulations.

But Gregory pointed out there was no legislation which specifically authorized the exchange.

“I don’t think we have an applicable state law because there hasn’t been any legislation passed to establish this program,” Gregory said.

Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, agreed.

“I think it is fair to say a lot of folks across the commonwealth question the broad authority the governor assumes to have to put in place such a comprehensive health policy,” Bowen said.

Gregory then moved to find the regulations deficient, and Bowen seconded the motion.

But that’s where the arcane procedures for regulations came into play.

The governor has the power to override the subcommittee’s decision when it finds a regulation deficient. But if the subcommittee finds a regulation deficient, that allows the full General Assembly to kill the regulation when it next convenes.

However, the subcommittee rules require a majority vote of its membership or five votes — not just a majority of those present — to find regulations deficient.

Prior to Gregory’s motion, two members — Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, and Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, left the room.

So when Gregory’s motion was put to a vote, there were only five members present. Gregory, Bowen and Harris voted to find the regulation deficient; Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, and Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, voted against the motion.

So,although the vote was 3-2 to find the regulation deficient, the motion failed.

Contacted after the meeting, Bell said he left because he had “another (previously scheduled) meeting upstairs.” CNHI couldn’t reach Damron, but Banahan said he understood prior to the meeting that Damron had a private business meeting and would leave early.

She also said the administration is confident the law allowing it to implement programs to qualify for federal funding allows the establishment of the exchange.

Gregory, an attorney, disagreed, saying an executive order is not a statute, and the legislature never passed a statute authorizing the exchange.

“I don’t think it is appropriate for the administration to go forward with something of this magnitude without statutory authority,” she said.

Kynect, Kentucky’s online health benefit exchange, began operating last week, taking applications for low cost or subsidized health insurance under provisions of the Affordable Care Act also called “Obamacare” by its critics.

While the exchange has suffered several glitches, it has been singled out by pro-ACA groups and some media reports for performing better than the national exchange or other state exchanges.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2-11 Mangan.jpeg Man indicted in I-75 wreck that killed two

    A man who police believe started the chain of events that led to the deaths of two people on Interstate 75 in February was indicted on several felony charges Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court.
    Bryan M. Mangan, 56, of South Bend, Ind., was indicted on six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and operating on a suspended license.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man charged with reselling employer’s equipment

    A man who worked for a local satellite TV company has been charged with ordering extra equipment and selling it online.
    Charles William Hensley, 39, of Manchester, worked for the Multiband Corporation at its Richmond office, according to a Richmond police report.
    Multiband maintains DIRECTV’s installations, service and upgrades for single-family homes in 20 states and commercial sites nationwide.

    April 24, 2014

  • Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

    A nationwide initiative to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner will take place Saturday.
    Three Madison County sites are available for residents to get rid of their unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs as part of the eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:
    • Richmond Police Department, 1721 Lexington Road, box is outside by the front door.
    • Kentucky State Police Post 7, 699 Eastern Bypass, across from the EKU stadium, box is inside at the front door.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-25 Revue 1.JPG Retro Radio Revue

    “Stan O’Donnell’s Retro Radio Revue,” presented by Rose Barn Theatre, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Gillum’s Sports Lounge in the Richmond Mall.
    The production focuses on the performers of the show and the follies and chaos that take place as the unexpected ensues. Local musical performers from Madison County will be showcased throughout the production.
    Gillum’s will provide a full menu service and cash bar beginning at 5:30 p.m.
    Tickets for the show are $15 and available at the door or in advance at www.rosebarntheatre.org.
    The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit arts organization.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 4-25 Crit Luallen.jpg Luallen says no to 2015 governor’s race

    After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.
    The announcement disappointed friends and associates who see Luallen as an able and experienced administrator — she served in six gubernatorial administrations — but also someone with the character and integrity to restore confidence in government.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Grass Army Depot sponsors 5K

    The Blue Grass Army Depot is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday in support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    The no-entry-fee event will begin and end at the depot’s new sports complex ball fields, according to a news release from the installation. Preregistration is available online at www.bluegrass.army.mil or starting at 9 a.m. the day of the event.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 UKatWaco1.jpg Wildcats encourage Cardinals to work hard in school

    University of Kentucky student athletes Kastine Evans, a guard on the women’s basketball team, and Jon Hood, a guard on the men’s team, stopped by Waco Elementary School on Wednesday to talk about the benefits of working hard in school.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor, commissioner pay changed

    The Richmond City Commission approved 4-1 a new pay scale for the mayor and commissioners at a special-called meeting Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24 Lorenzo McWilliams.jpg Harrodsburg to get old Richmond police mobile computers

    Richmond is donating to the city of Harrodsburg eight of 39 old computers formerly used in police cruisers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 HOSAblooddrive.jpg Health science students organize blood drive

    Aside from the gift cards and free snacks, 50 Madison County high school students have other reasons for donating 35 pints of blood Wednesday to the Kentucky Blood Center at Madison Central High School.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results