Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Focuses on Health Care at National Governors Association Meeting

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 07, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Discusses Kentucky health initiatives with national leaders

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Ernie Fletcher brought the message of Kentucky’s accomplishments in health care and education to the National Governor’s Association Meeting in Charleston, S.C., over the weekend.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell and Governor's Office Chief of Staff Stan Cave joined Governor Fletcher at the NGA meeting. On Saturday, Governor Fletcher took part in a forum entitled “Transforming the United States Health Care System.” The Governor also actively participated in the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee meeting, which included comments from federal Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

“The National Governor’s Association meeting was extremely productive in bringing greater attention to the progress Kentucky is making on key health issues such as Medicaid and school nutrition,” said Governor Fletcher. “We were also able to meet with Secretary Leavitt on a number of topics important to continuing the success of our health care initiatives.”

At other events over the weekend, the Governor shared news about the progress of Kentucky's eHealth Board, early childhood development programs and efforts to improve school nutrition.

Governor Fletcher and Secretary Birdwhistell also had a private working meeting with Secretary Leavitt. The meeting dealt with Kentucky’s implementation of its progressive Medicaid reform, KyHealth Choices, under new federal legislation recently passed by Congress; the preservation of the current provider assessments that are crucial to Kentucky’s Medicaid budget; and other waivers that Kentucky has requested that are currently under review by the federal government.

Governor Fletcher also shared information with Secretary Leavitt about Kentucky’s leadership in the e-Health arena and the state’s efforts to provide consumers with price information so that they can make informed health care choices.

“Governor Fletcher took this opportunity on a national stage to showcase the commonwealth's success in tackling various health care issues,” said Secretary Birdwhistell. “In many of these areas, such as Medicaid, we are truly becoming national leaders through the reform initiatives currently underway.”