Beshear says state will put resources into making sure all black residents have health insurance
By John P. Wise| June 8, 2020 at 4:14 PM EDT - Updated June 8 at 10:50 PM
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced the state will begin working toward correcting racial inequalities in health care coverage, among other areas, across the state.
During his daily updates in Frankfort the last three months, Beshear has been providing a breakdown of the racial makeup of the state’s COVID-19 cases. Throughout the crisis, cases involving black patients have outpaced the state’s black population.
“We are gonna begin an effort to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our black and African-American communities,” the governor said. “We’re gonna be putting dollars behind it.”
Beshear said his goal is for every black Kentuckian to get “signed up for some form of coverage."
“I believe health care is a basic human right,” he said, adding that he’s not yet sure how to accomplish the task, but he said he aims for all black residents in Kentucky to either be on Medicare or Medicaid if they don’t have private health insurance.
Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer have become increasingly vocal about racial inequities in health care as the coronavirus emergency has dragged on for months. And more recently, following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee -- two black Louisville residents killed by LMPD officers -- Beshear’s and Fischer’s cries have gotten louder and more frequent about racial inequality.
“This is the time where we have the opportunity to be better people,” the governor said Monday.
Beshear also announced plans to introduce a new online training program for law enforcement officer trainees in light of local unrest following the aforementioned police shooting deaths. The program will focus on implicit bias, use of force, civil rights laws, community relationships and other topics.
Also Monday, Beshear shared some data regarding the state’s coronavirus crisis:
+ 190 new cases from Sunday and Monday combined, and two more deaths
+ 11,356 total cases throughout the pandemic
+ 2,268 Kentuckians have been hospitalized; 286 are currently hospitalized
+ 958 residents have been in an ICU; 76 are currently in an ICU
+ 285,358 total tests have been administered so far in Kentucky
+ In longterm-care facilities, 1,453 residents and 673 staff members have tested positive; 292 people have died
+ A total of 3,359 Kentuckians have recovered from the coronavirus