by Bill Mardis
Kentucky’s lieutenant governor urged Somerset and Pulaski County residents to look carefully at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as an opportunity to provide health care to many Pulaski countians.
“You ought to at least check it out,” said Jerry Abramson, speaking Tuesday to the October membership meeting of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. He said 10,284 Pulaski countians –– one in six –– are not covered by health insurance. “It’s an opportunity to reach out and provide health care to more than 90 percent of those not now covered,” Abramson declared.
The controversial Affordable Care Act, called Obamacare, went into effect October 1. People without health insurance are able to go on-line and find coverage, partially paid for by the government for those who can’t pay all the premiums.
“We ought to be sure they (people without insurance) know it exists,” Abramson said of Obamacare.
The lieutenant governor made a strong pitch for tax reform in Kentucky.
“We are at a crisis point in the state of Kentucky,” said Abramson. He said $1.6 billion has been cut from the state budget, severely limiting funds for education, economic development, law enforcement and mental health programs.
He said the fewest state troopers are on the road in a generation and the average state police patrol car has more than 100,000 miles.
“Changes CEOs want to relocate in Kentucky are a productive, skilled and educated workforce,” said Abramson. “The governor (Steve Beshear) says we must be competitive with a tax code simpler and easier to comply.”
“We need a stable and muscular source of funds; we need tax reform,” Abramson emphasized.
“Back your legislators; look and understand what is being proposed. Ask your legislators to look honestly at some proposals being made ... for a better future for our children and grandchildren,” Abramson concluded.
Abramson was elected Kentucky's lieutenant governor in November 2011. Before running for statewide office, Abramson was the longest-serving mayor in the city of Louisville's history, having won election to five terms, two during a merged city and county government.
Throughout his 21 years as mayor, Abramson oversaw a dramatic transformation of Louisville and was known for creating public/private partnerships to further policy goals.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2008 acknowledged Abramson's impact when it named Louisville - "America's Most Livable Large City."