Newsflash:
Issues Economic and Social Justice The Robin Hood Tax NE Medicaid Expansion 22 Nebraska senators pledge to keep fighting for Medicaid expansion
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 23:05

22 Nebraska senators pledge to keep fighting for Medicaid expansion

Written by  Paul Hammel | World-Herald Bureau
Rate this item
(0 votes)

LINCOLN — A group of state senators predicted Tuesday that, given more time, they will eventually win approval of an expansion of Medicaid.

The expansion for states that's a voluntary part of the new federal health care law was blocked by opponents this year in the Legislature.

Twenty-two state senators, at a press conference, pledged to keep working on the issue between the end of the 2013 session today and the beginning of the 2014 session in January.

State Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln said that by then, Nebraska citizens, employers and policymakers will have more information about the impact of Medicaid expansion on the economy and health care, leading more to support the issue.

Campbell, who sponsored Legislative Bill 577, said that even some senators who opposed the bill told her to “keep working” on the issue.

“They said if you can come back and provide new information and answers, I'll listen,” the senator said. “I am encouraged by that.”

The expansion was included in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in order to provide health coverage to more low-income citizens.

As proposed, it would bring into Medicaid low-income adults without minor children who cannot qualify for Medicaid now and also would provide coverage for parents and disabled adults who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

An additional 54,000 to 80,000 Nebraskans would gain government-supported health care under the bill.

While a majority of state senators backed LB 577, support didn't reach the level of 33 out of the Legislature's 49 senators needed to end opponents' filibuster. As a result, the bill failed to advance.

That led LB 577 to be dropped from debate until next year. The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, of which Campbell is chairwoman, will conduct a study in the interim.

A major opponent is Gov. Dave Heineman, who has maintained that the expansion is “unaffordable and unsustainable.”

His administration estimated the net cost to the state would be $116 million over the next seven years. Legislative fiscal staff put the cost at $75 million.

As proposed in the health care law, the federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of the expansion from 2014 to 2016, then a declining share until the federal funding reaches 90 percent in 2022.

Heineman has also said the federal government cannot afford the multibillion-dollar price tag of its share of the expansion.

But supporters of the bill said Tuesday that Nebraskans cannot afford to forgo the federal funds being offered to expand coverage. Campbell said the state would be walking away from $423 million in federal dollars in 2014 if it fails to expand coverage.

That money, she said, would go to states such as Colorado and Iowa, which are moving forward with expansion.

Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist said at Tuesday's press conference that Iowa, in a last-minute compromise, “put politics aside” and found a way to expand Medicaid for the good of its citizens.

He said rejecting the expansion will cause some rural hospitals in Nebraska to close, expose large employers to $10 million to $15 million a year in penalties for employees who lack coverage and cause larger increases in private health insurance rates due to increases in unpaid medical care for the poor.

Omaha Sen. Bob Krist said he was “calling out” the governor to “do the right thing” and approve the Medicaid expansion.

As of May 30, 23 states were moving ahead with Medicaid expansion and the issue was pending in eight others, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Link to original article from Omaha.com

Read 1163 times

Robin Hood Tax Articles

  • Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?
    Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?

    How will you honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this April 4, the anniversary of his assassination? How about by demanding that Congress get out of Wall Street’s pocket? How about by letting your representative know that you support economic equality and a just distribution of wealth in America? As Dr. King himself said, “This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.”

    Written on Monday, 31 March 2014 23:57 Read more...
  • Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington
    Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington

    With Congress about to begin the next cycle of budget battles – mostly focused on how much more pain to inflict on Main Street communities across America – a far different message is bubbling up across the land.

    Written on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 23:08 Read more...
  • The Robin Hood Tax
    The Robin Hood Tax

    Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars.  That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world.  And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 15:41 Read more...
  • European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions
    European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions The European Commission yesterday backed plans by 11 European Union economies to impose a “Robin Hood” financial transaction tax, better known as a Tobin tax, to help raise funds to tackle the region’s growing debt crisis.
    Written on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:53 Read more...

Does Your Legislator Support the Robin Hood Tax?

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

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Like Robin Hood Tax on Facebook

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax: John Nichols and Keith Ellison and Michael Lighty

Why The Robin Hood Tax