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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) vowed Monday to provide health care coverage for all black residents of the state, saying that the coronavirus crisis and protests over the death of George Floyd indicate “it’s time for prioritization in black and African American communities.”
During a news conference, Beshear said, “In our health care system, the inequalities have been laid bare, have been exposed by this COVID-19 epidemic, and the results of inequality in health care 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 of the population.
“It shouldn’t have taken this type of pandemic, or it shouldn’t have taken these types of demonstrations for us to commit to ending it,” the governor added.
Beshear went on to say he believes health care is a basic human right and that he would eventually like every Kentucky resident to have health care coverage, but that black residents must take precedence over anyone else and that his new initiative would be the first step.
“It’s time for prioritization in black and African American communities, so we’re going to do that,” the governor declared. “My commitment today is we are going to begin an effort to cover 100% of our individuals in our black and African American communities. Everybody. We’re going to be putting dollars behind it. We’re going to have a multifaceted campaign to do it.”