The largest pot of new money is $3.3 million for oral health, a subject to which Beshear has paid special attention since soon after he became governor in December 2007. His budget would expand preventive oral health programs in the Department of Public
Health, and add 10 dental hygiene sites in local
health departments over the two-year budget period, July 2014 through June 2016.
Beshear proposes $1
million to expand screenings through the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening
Program to increase breast and cervical cancer screening. The funds would also develop systems to help
women navigate the health-care system. The governor’s office also noted that his budget would continue the $1 million annual funding for colon cancer screening for low-income, uninsured Kentuckians aged 50 to 64.
Beshear would add 303 slots during the budget period for the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver program, which provides intensive services and support to adults who have acquired brain injuries and are working to re-enter community life. He would also add 900 new slots to waiver programs in Medicaid that provide alternatives to institutional care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A news release from Beshear’s office said $166.7 million the state is saving because of federal health reform would be reinvested in the the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “While most state agencies face 5 percent cuts under the governor’s proposal, most public-health and mental health-programs are exempt from cuts,” the release said. “Affordable Care Act savings to these agencies mean many services they provide will now be covered with federal funds.”
Among cabinet spending not directly for health, Beshear’s budget would restore a recent cut in slots for child-care assistance for the poor, fund staff for the Child Fatality Review Commission, and expand the Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program for new and expectant parents.”This program was expanded to families that already had children in high risk communities in 78 counties with the use of a federal grant,” the release said. “Beshear proposes $11.6 million to replace that grant, and an additional $5 million to take this expansion to the rest of the state.”