Andy Beshear’s first TV ad in primary casts him as friend of Medicaid expansion, coverage of pre-existing conditions

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Besehar greeted each other before one of the governor’s State of the Commonwealth addresses.

In the opening television commercial of his campaign for governor, Attorney General Andy Beshear “highlights his efforts to defend the Affordable Care Act and Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion,” which his father, Steve Beshear, instituted as governor, Bruce Schreiner reports for The Associated Press.

The ad contrasts the Democrat’s health-care stands with those of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who first wanted to end the expansion of Medicaid under the 2010 law to people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Now Bevin wants “able bodied” Medicaid recipients to work, go to school or perform other “community engagement” 80 hours a month, but a federal judge has twice blocked that plan. Meanwhile, “The Trump administration told a federal appeals court it wants former President Barack Obama’s health care law struck down in its entirety,” Schreiner notes.
“Beshear’s 30-second ad starts out by showcasing Lukas Stevens, a young boy with diabetes, as Beshear touts his efforts as attorney general to protect health coverage for pre-existing conditions,” a key part of Obamacare, Schreiner writes. Beshear says in the ad that the end of such coverage “would hurt Lukas and nearly half of all Kentuckians. I’m not going to let that happen. As attorney general, I’m helping lead a national effort to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions.”
Beshear is one of several Democratic attorneys general opposing a lawsuit by Texas and other Republican-led states to overturn the law, which Bevin has long argued is unconstitutional. As a candidate, he first said he would repeal the expansion, but backed off to the community-engagement plan. But he has issued an executive order saying that if the plan is finally rejected by the courts, the expansion would end six months from that point, because it is too expensive.
Beshear says in the TV spot, “I’ll protect expanded Medicaid to provide access to affordable health care. Governor Bevin won’t.”
Beshear is opposed in the May 21 Democratic primary by state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and former state auditor Adam Edelen, who has been running ads for a few weeks and is also featured in ads run by a political committee that says it is independent of his campaign.