Former Courier Journal reporter Al Cross runs a site called Kentucky Health News which has picked up on the Kentucky Health Cooperative's dismal results. In a post published yesterday, Kentucky Health Cooperative Chairman Joseph E. Smith was asked why his organization is losing money faster than any other health co-op in the nation. His answers were revealing and should lead to more questions.
Smith cited three excuses, none of which hold water. Asked to explain KYHC's massive 2014 losses, Smith blamed reserve requirements, medical claims and grandfathered health plans. We already know health co-op reserve requirements have been grossly manipulated to benefit co-ops. And everyone should know that reserve requirements don't impact a profit-and-loss statement. Kudos to Al Cross and Kentucky Health News for exposing the fact the Kentucky Health Cooperative cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny.
And it gets worse.
Smith said Kentucky Health Cooperative got nearly all the sickest Kentuckians who had been kicked off their pre-ObamaCare coverage. This should come as no surprise to anyone, because KYHC underbid Anthem and Humana significantly on premiums. They did this intentionally to justify their paychecks and in hopes of attracting more federal funds. Whining about that now just because the congressional gravy train has stopped running for co-ops also does not explain why Kentucky's is the worst one.
And then Smith blames the existence of grandfathered health plans, which also has no bearing on annual earnings. Smith should be dragged around the circuit and forced to clarify his answers so all can see Frankfort Obamacrats have no real answers. Cross should let his nose for news overrule his heart for ObamaCare and stay on this story.
Please, Matt Bevin, take the lead on this.