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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Center for Rural Affairs urges support for Medicaid Expansion legislation

  • Today, the Unicameral Committee on Health and Human Services advanced LB 887, the Wellness In Nebraska bill that extends health care coverage to Nebraskans with incomes at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
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  • Today, the Unicameral Committee on Health and Human Services advanced LB 887, the Wellness In Nebraska bill that extends health care coverage to Nebraskans with incomes at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
    “For the health and well-being of Nebraska’s people, we urge the passage of LB 887,” said Jon Bailey, Director of Rural Research and Analysis at the Center for Rural Affairs. “The failure of Nebraska to approve and implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has created a coverage gap that an estimated 33,000 Nebraskans have fallen into.”
    According to Bailey, there is currently no help that that can be offered for Nebraskans that fall into the gap. They do not qualify for insurance marketplace tax credits because their incomes are too low. Consequently, even the least expensive insurance on the marketplace is generally unaffordable; and their employers do not provide health insurance.
    “All that we can do and all that the ACA navigators can do is tell them the truth and send them on their way disappointed, frustrated and still uninsured,” explained Bailey.
    “LB 887 is crucial for rural Nebraskans,” Bailey added. “It is simply immoral to enact a public policy of negligence that leaves 33,000 people, including over 15,000 from rural and small town Nebraska, by the side of the road with no options and with the disappointment and frustration of being in the coverage gap. Most importantly, it is immoral to leave them without the ability to resolve their health care needs and without the tools to enhance their long-term health.”
    “LB 887 will allow those in the coverage gap to become responsible health care consumers living healthier lives,” Bailey concluded. “There are no valid excuses for failing to adopt LB 887. It's time to put people ahead of politics.”

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