Op-Ed

Glenn Jennings: Health insurance co-ops have enough struggles without false accusations

Glenn Jennings is interim CEO of Kentucky Health Cooperative.
Glenn Jennings is interim CEO of Kentucky Health Cooperative.

Jared Lorenzen. Eli Capilouto. Heather French Henry.

Say the name of some Kentuckians, and there's not a shred of doubt about who's the topic of discussion.

Mention others — Jennifer Lawrence, Darrell Griffith, Ed McClanahan — and you might have to follow up with whether you're talking about "that" Jennifer Lawrence, (the acclaimed actress); "that" Darrell Griffith (the former University of Louisville basketball star), or "that" Ed McClanahan (noted author, essayist and professor).

I'm in the latter camp. An Internet search on Kentuckians named Glenn Jennings kicks up no fewer than five: in Lexington, Berea, Prospect, Goshen and Lawrenceburg.

The Glenn Jennings from Lawrenceburg? That would be me.

Within the last few weeks, distinguishing myself from others named Glenn Jennings has become a sensitive issue.

On Oct. 9, the Herald-Leader reported that the company with which I am serving as interim CEO, Kentucky Health Cooperative, Inc., will be ceasing operations after Dec. 31 of this year. It correctly reported that 51,000 health insurance enrollees are affected and that the decision to wind down is a result of not receiving promised federal funding.

The Herald-Leader's readers are invited to comment on articles and several did, including one who pointed out that "Glenn Jennings is one of the biggest financial contributors to the Republican Party."

He included a web link to the Federal Election Commission that enables searching for contributors by first and last name.

Sure enough, typing in "Glenn" + "Jennings" shows that Glenn Jennings has contributed to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign.

Trouble is, the donor isn't the Glenn Jennings from Prospect, Goshen, Lexington or Berea.

The donor isn't me, either. Again, I'm Glenn Jennings, from Lawrenceburg.

Make that Robert Glenn Jennings.

The Glenn Jennings who has donated to McConnell's campaign is from Raleigh, N.C. It says so, on the election commission website.

I have never, in my entire life, contributed financially to either the Republican or the Democratic parties. The perception that this posting creates is inaccurate, concerning and unfair.

Kentucky.com does not have a process for reviewing comments posted to the website. So, this false accusation, which could have been instantly discounted, was allowed to be posted. This is unfortunate not just for me but also for Kentucky Health Cooperative.

Our nation's health insurance cooperatives were created to provide consumers with a choice. In so many Kentucky counties, especially the rural ones, there was often an absence of competition.

Since Kentucky Health Cooperative began doing business on Jan. 1, 2014, tens of thousands of Kentuckians have chosen a nonprofit, member-governed option for health insurance coverage.

Co-ops are having enough of a struggle. The accusation contained in this posting is patently not true, and it is damaging.

While this cannot be undone, it can serve as a reminder to be discerning, think critically, and don't believe everything you read.

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