FRANKFORT — Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul said Medicaid's lenient eligibility standards have led to "intergenerational welfare" in a discussion Monday with three members of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Paul later campaigned in Lexington with his GOP opponent in the spring, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, and asked why his Democratic rival, Jack Conway, does not enjoy strong backing from his primary election conquest, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.
Conway's campaign responded by saying Mongiardo will appear with Conway Saturday night at a Democratic dinner in Louisville.
With less than a month to go in the U.S. Senate race before the Nov. 2 general election, Paul was interviewed on five issues by three chamber leaders.
On major changes in government, Paul said the country needs a balanced budget amendment and must better control spending on federal entitlement programs.
He focused on the high costs of Medicaid, a federal-state health-insurance program that covers about 800,000 poor and disabled Kentuckians and costs nearly $6 billion.
"When we have a government program to help those who are in need or who have unfortunate problems, let's help those truly in need," Paul said.
He contended that lenient eligibility standards have led to "intergenerational welfare."
Conway's campaign press secretary, John Collins, said Paul's comments were "troubling and show how far out of touch he is with life in Kentucky."
Sheila Schuster, who works with organizations that advocate for disabled Kentuckians, said the state does not have the most liberal eligibility standards for Medicaid and disputed that it has become a welfare system.
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