Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced on Monday that his administration is working to extend health care coverage to all black residents. The governor singled out only “black and African-American communities,” while declaring that “health care is a basic human right.”
“We are gonna begin an effort to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our black and African-American communities,” the Beshear said. “Everybody. We’re gonna be putting dollars behind it. We’re going to have a multi-faceted campaign to do it.”
The governor said his goal is for every black Kentuckian to get “signed up for some form of coverage” through either Medicare or Medicaid if they don’t have private health insurance.
He cited COVID-19 as the impetus for the policy because blacks have been disproportionately affected by the disease.
Kentucky reports that roughly 16% of all people who have died of coronavirus were black. The most recent U.S. Census data shows that black people make up just 8.4% of Kentucky’s population.
Beshear also vowed to introduce a new online training program for law enforcement officer trainees in light of nationwide unrest following the death of career criminal George Floyd at the hands of police officers.
He said the program would focus on “implicit bias, use of force, civil rights laws, community relationships and other topics.”