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Steve Beshear  

Former Democratic Governor of Kentucky

Steve Beshear served as the 61st Governor of Kentucky from 2007 to 2015. He also served as Attorney General from 1979 to 1983, Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987, and was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1979.

As a Democratic governor in a red state, he expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and launched the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, benefiting over 500,000 Kentuckians. These actions together reduced the state’s uninsured rate from over 20% to 8% and ensured that for the first time in history every Kentuckian would have access to affordable health insurance. He is the author of the book, People Over Politics, which is focused on how to make our broken system of government work again.


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Speech Topics


Leaders are made, not born. Being a leader is one part talent and nine parts hard work. Using examples from my personal and political life, I discuss the skills it takes to be a leader (including the willingness to take a risk and the willingness to lose), and how to turn those skills into actual results.


Where do we go from here? I discuss Kentucky's poor health history and how I implemented the ACA and expanded Medicaid in a red state. I then turn to what the future holds for healthcare in the United States.


Here I discuss how rank partisanship is destroying our federal political system. But it doesn't have to be this way. During my eight years as Kentucky's Democratic Governor, the Kentucky Senate was controlled by Republicans, while the House was controlled by Democrats. But most of the time, after elections were over, I was able to get both sides to remember that we were Kentuckians first and Democrats and Republicans second. Therefore, we accomplished some great things for our people.

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