Newsflash:
Dr. Syed Taj NE Medicaid Expansion Nebraska rejects compromise effort to expand Medicaid
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Nebraska rejects compromise effort to expand Medicaid

Written by  Jason Millman | The Washington Post
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Nebraska rejects compromise effort to expand Medicaid (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

Nebraska legislators spent the past year crafting a conservative version of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion that they hoped would gain support in a pretty red state. But after a failed vote in the state legislature Wednesday, the Medicaid expansion is officially dead in Nebraska this year.

So far, 25 states and Washington, DC., have expanded their Medicaid programs in 2014, the first year of Obamacare coverage. With some exceptions, these are mostly blue states that joined the expansion, which was made optional by the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision on the health care law.

For this year and the following two years, the federal government is fully funding the expansion population for states that opt into the program. States can join at any time, but the 100 percent federal match starts going down after 2016, though it won’t drop below 90 percent.

That has left expansion supporters in red states this year trying to figure out how to design the program in a way that could earn Republican votes. The Nebraska bill, which would cover about 54,000 low-income people, borrowed from conservative Medicaid expansion approaches pioneered by Arkansas and Iowa.

“What we began to look at is what would work in the state of Nebraska,” said state Sen. Kathy Campbell, the bill’s sponsor. “We built the [bill] using bits and pieces from waivers we knew that had been accepted by the federal government.”

While the Nebraska bill would enroll everyone in the adult expansion population under the federal poverty level in the traditional Medicaid program, those earning up to 133 percent FPL – the start of eligibility for Obamcare exchange coverage – would get federal dollars to purchase private health insurance plans. The bill also included wellness incentives and reforms to the health care delivery system.

State Sen. Mike Gloor, a former hospital CEO, said he opposed last year’s Medicaid expansion bill because it was “too simplistic,” but he supported this year’s revised version because of its reforms to the delivery system.

“What they came back with is a completely different bill and one that’s transformational,” Gloor said during floor debate.

However, the bill sponsored by state Sen. Kathy Campbell was defeated 27-21 in a Wednesday cloture vote after needing 33 votes to advance. Nebraska rules prevent a bill from coming up again after a failed cloture vote.

Supporters say the bill, priced at about $60 million over six years, would have been offset by a projected $2.3 billion in revenue the expansion would have generated for the state over the same time.

“The opposition’s speculation and unfounded conjecture have placed the lives of hundreds of working Nebraskans at risk and jeopardized the health of thousands more," the Nebraska Hospital Association scolded in a statement after the vote. Nebraska’s hospitals, major supporters of the expansion bill, have warned they’re facing financial pressures from about $1.3 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade because of Obamacare, sequestration and other factors.

Campbell said she’s now pinning her hopes on a new governor and more favorable numbers in the state legislature in 2015. But today’s vote showed that Nebraska has some ways to go before it will accept a major piece of Obamacare.

Link to original article from The Washington Post

Read 1153 times Last modified on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 23:04

Latest News from the Taj Campaign

  • Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)
    Learned about Taj (letter to the editor)

    I was anxious to attend the League of Women Voters Candidate Night because like so many other people in the new 11th District, I knew little about either of the major party candidates. I sat with more than 100 other voters and waited for Kerry Bentivolio to arrive.

    Written on Thursday, 01 November 2012 22:15 Read more...
  • Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj
    Blue America Preview: Dr. Syed Taj

    With the open seat, Dr. Taj has a more than favorable chance to win. His opponent is Kerry Bentivolio, reindeer rancher, failed business owner and part-time actor who has never held elected office. He has strong ties to libertarian financiers and Tea Party activists but has been ostracized by the Republican Party establishment, having taken large donations from Liberty for All Super PAC, affiliated with Ron Paul.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 12:48 Read more...
  • Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House
    Syed Taj: Democrat hopes voters will put a doctor in the House

    He may be a Democrat in a largely Republican town, but don't tell that to Canton voters.

    Dr. Syed Taj finished fourth out of six candidates in 2008 to win a seat on Canton's Board of Trustees -- the first Democrat elected to the board in recent memory and the only Democrat on the seven-member board.

    Written on Monday, 15 October 2012 19:17 Read more...
  • Interview with Mark Maynard
    Interview with Mark Maynard

    We also talk economics and tax policy. We can’t just continue to cut our way to prosperity, Taj says. We continue to fire public employees, he says, and that not only impacts quality of life, but it negatively impacts consumer spending.

    Written on Sunday, 14 October 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"
    Syed Taj Says He's "on the radar"

    The sudden resignation of Rep. Thad McCotter led to a tumultuous Republican primary in Michigan's 11th District, but the fallout may also mean a competitive general election for a seat thought until recently to be safely in the GOP column. At least, that's what Syed Taj is counting on.

    Written on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00 Read more...

PDA In Your State

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

MI Endorsed Candidate

Dr.TajSmall 

MI-11 Dr. Syed Taj
http://www.tajforcongress.com

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of