Kentucky Governor Promises Health Insurance for Black Kentuckians in Wake of CCP Virus

June 9, 2020 Updated: June 9, 2020

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear promised 100 percent health insurance coverage for African Americans in his state in wake of the health care disparities highlighted by the CCP virus pandemic.

“My commitment today is we’re going to begin an effort to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our black and African American communities,” Beshear said according to Lexington Herald-Leader.

The governor cited racial disparities in health outcomes and said immediate action is needed. He didn’t provide details about how he’ll achieve it, but said his administration will connect African Americans in the state with private insurers and with Medicaid.

“Everybody. We’re going to be putting dollars behind it, we’re going to have a multifaceted campaign to do it,” said Beshear, according to an official release, adding that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has further exposed this disparity.

“It simply can’t be allowed to continue any longer and it shouldn’t have taken this type of pandemic and it shouldn’t have taken these types of demonstrations for us to commit to ending it,” he said.

The insurance promised would include coverage, access, and quality care, according to WSAZ News Channel.

Lexington Herald-Leader reports that African Americans constitute only 8 percent of the state’s total population but 15.44 percent of the overall cases of infection and 16.44 percent of the overall cases of deaths.

“In our healthcare system, the inequalities have been exposed by this COVID-19 epidemic. And the results of the inequality have been shown⁠—it’s death. By allowing this type of inequality to exist for as long as it has, we see African Americans dying at twice the rate that they make up the population,” Gov. Beshear said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear walks to the podium during a media conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear walks to the podium during a media conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., to provide an update on the CCP virus on May 3, 2020. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/AP)

Training For Police

In the wake of the protests, state authorities also said that before the year ends, law enforcement would be required to take eight hours of training on implicit bias, civil rights law, and use of force, according to the official release.

Implicit bias means stereotypes that unconsciously affect our actions, understandings, and decisions.

Secretary for the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, J. Michael Brown said that a council with the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) is reviewing how the law enforcement officers in the state are trained currently and how they should be trained in the future. This council has suggested the new 8-hour training.

“Kentucky has one of the highest requirements in the country for officer training, and it has served us very well,” Secretary Brown said.

“We are committed to providing at least eight hours of in-service training to all of our officers by the end of the calendar year, focused on specific and timely topics.”

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