2023 Kentucky Governor's Race
Election Day in Kentucky is Tuesday, November 7th. The top of the ballot features the race for Kentucky Governor between incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Here is where the candidates stand on health policy, based on their websites, public comments, and other sources.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D)
Democrat Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s incumbent governor, is seeking a second term.
He says that health care is a human right and supports the expansion of Medicaid to more low-income adults as authorized by the Affordable Care Act. The Beshear administration ended efforts by previous Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, to require “able-bodied” adults to report work or job training participation as a condition of receiving health coverage from Medicaid.
Beshear also restored kynect, the one-stop, online website where people may sign up for Medicaid or other health coverage, that was dropped by his predecessor.
Shortly after Beshear took office in late 2019, the COVID pandemic hit and Beshear enacted a number of measures he said were to limit spread of the virus through executive order. His campaign website says that meant “standing up to misinformation and politics-as-usual. I’ve done the right thing, even when it’s unpopular.”
Beshear has said he supports abortion rights. He vetoed Senate Bill 150, the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2023 bill that in part bans gender affirming care for children though the veto was overridden by the GOP-controlled legislature.
Beshear said parents should make decisions about their children’s medical care.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R)
Cameron, a Republican, is running for governor after one term as Kentucky Attorney General.
His campaign website doesn’t specifically address Medicaid health policy but Cameron has said he supports work requirements for “able-bodied recipients.”
“Medicaid should not be a program that people stay on for the remainder of their life, especially if they can work,” Spectrum News reported Cameron as saying at a candidate forum in April.
During the pandemic, he joined legal challenges to some of Beshear’s orders limiting public activity or events, as well as federal vaccine requirements for health workers. “Cameron stood up for individual liberty by successfully stopping the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private businesses,” his campaign website says.
Cameron opposes abortion rights and, as attorney general, has defended in court laws that limit or restrict abortion, which is currently banned in Kentucky except in cases necessary to save the life of the patient or prevent disabling injury.
He also supports Senate Bill 150, which bans gender-affirming care for children in Kentucky and led legal efforts to defend the law. “I will do everything in my power to protect Kentucky kids from this radical agenda, and my office will continue to defend this law at every turn,” Cameron said in a news release from his office.