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Kentucky editorial roundup

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm •  Published: November 19, 2014
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Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:

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Nov. 16

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, on kynect enrollment:

As open enrollment for kynect gets underway for the second year, this state should be proud of what it has accomplished with the Affordable Care Act under the leadership of Gov. Steve Beshear.

Despite a hostile political climate and a relentless misinformation campaign (some Kentuckians still love kynect but hate Obamacare) Gov. Beshear launched Kentucky's enormously successful health insurance exchange and accepted a federal expansion of Medicaid for the working poor.

As a result, Kentucky's rate of people with no health coverage has plunged. Before kynect made affordable health coverage possible, Kentucky had about 640,000 people with no coverage, leaving them shut out of health services most of us take for granted.

But after one year of kynect, the rate of Kentuckians with no health coverage has decreased from 20 percent to 12, The Courier-Journal reported last Sunday, placing it second in the nation only behind Arkansas in states that have cut the rate of uninsured under the new health law.

And that could have profound consequences in a poor state with some of the nation's worst health problems with cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and a host of ills related to poverty and lack of access to basic health services.

As Gov. Beshear has said, a healthier state means a healthier population and workforce.

"I for one am tired of being at the bottom," he said last year. "Our poor health has contributed to us being a poor state."

A little-known benefit of the new health law is that it has emerged as a powerful force in keeping families together and reducing child abuse and neglect, another longtime scourge in Kentucky.

Online:

http://www.courier-journal.com

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Nov. 18

Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, on indictment of former coal company CEO:

It was an extraordinary moment last week in Charleston, W.Va., when a federal grand jury handed down a four-count criminal indictment against former coal company CEO Don Blankenship.

Extraordinary because it's often difficult for prosecutors to directly tie those at the top of the corporate ladder to misdeeds below.

And, as Kentuckians know too well, the coal industry in Appalachia is rarely held accountable for its wrongs. If you doubt that, check out NPR's recent reporting by Howard Berkes on the industry's massive backlog of unpaid fines for mine-safety violations.

Justice is being served in the preventable disaster that killed 29 coal miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in 2010, thanks to the determined efforts of U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and his assistant Steven Ruby.

Blankenship was charged with conspiring to willfully violate explosion-prevention rules for proper ventilation and dust control, conspiring to conceal safety violations and thwart safety enforcement, and lying to the investing public and the Securities and Exchange Commission about the company's safety practices and record.

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