Williams Has Doubts About Beshear Medicaid Plan

Kentucky Senate President David Williams is unimpressed with the Medicaid budget-balancing plan unveiled Monday by Gov. Steve Beshear.  Williams questions why the governor is so confident more managed care programs will save taxpayer dollars. 

“It’s unbelievable to me that if they really believe that these measures would have saved taxpayers money and improve the quality of care at the same time, that in the three years that he’s been in office that this governor has not implemented those programs.  It’s unbelievable,” he said.

Williams, who’s running for governor next year, also questions Beshear’s desire to move second year Medicaid funding to the current fiscal year to cover a $142 million Medicaid shortfall. 

The governor says managed care savings will fund Medicaid in 2012.  Williams says the governor is just moving money around to avoid addressing funding problems before next year’s election. 

Beshear says the budget supported by Williams created the deficit, and if Williams has other ideas for filling it, “we would be glad to entertain them.”

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.