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CMS Approval of Kentuckys Medicaid Waiver Will Harm Lung Disease Patients

(January 12, 2018) - Louisville, KY

Statement of Barry Gottschalk, Executive Vice President of the Midland States of the American Lung Association, in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approval of the Kentucky 1115 waiver which includes a work requirement as a condition of healthcare:  

“Kentucky has made great strides in improving the health of its residents since the state expanded Medicaid in 2014. Unfortunately, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) approval of the Kentucky HEALTH waiver, the first to include a work requirement to qualify for Medicaid coverage, the state takes a step backwards. The American Lung Association in Kentucky is deeply disappointed in CMS’ approval of the waiver, as it jeopardizes access to healthcare for many Kentuckians.

“By the state’s own estimates, 95,000 Kentuckians will lose Medicaid coverage due to the policies in the approved waiver. Kentucky already leads the nation in both lung cancer death rates and smoking rates, and this waiver will worsen the situation, as fewer people will receive treatment to quit smoking and screenings to detect cancers at an early and survivable stage.   


“The American Lung Association in Kentucky believes all Kentuckians should have quality and affordable health coverage. We remain committed to working to improve the health of all Kentuckians, including those on Medicaid who are disproportionately impacted by lung disease.“   


About the American Lung Association 

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

American Lung Association • 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150 • Chicago, IL 60601

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Ste. 1425 North • Washington, D.C. 20004
1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)

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