AARP survey shows majority of Nebraskans support new Medicaid program

DSCF3027A new survey released today conducted by AARP Nebraska shows the majority of Nebraskans support the new Medicaid program, implemented by LB 577, which would provide health care access to at least 54,000 uninsured people in our state.

AARP Nebraska released the results of the survey at a press conference today at the State Capitol.  The survey, which polled 600 Nebraskans age 18 and over, shows 53 percent support the new Medicaid program.  Also, 62 percent of Nebraskans who responded say they would support Medicaid program if the cost could be covered by eliminating programs that will no longer be needed if the state takes up the new Medicaid option.

A quick look at the survey shows:

  • 53 percent of respondents support Nebraska implementing the new Medicaid program so that adults with no dependent children who earn up to about $15,000 a year can have health care coverage.
  • 55 percent said they would support Medicaid knowing that adults with no young children and earning $15,000 a year currently do not qualify for Medicaid benefits.
  • 65 percent said they believe Medicaid is an important government program.

“I think Medicaid expansion is about the future of a healthy workforce,” said Sen. Kathy Campbell, sponsor of LB 577. “Nebraska prides itself on the dedication of our workforce.  They need to be healthy, and we need to have hard-working, low-income Nebraskans as a part of that healthy workforce.  They should not be left behind.”

Both Sen. Campbell joined Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, a co-sponsor of LB 577, spoke at Tuesday’s press conference and outlined the financial benefit the new Medicaid program could bring to the state.

“All of us pay federal taxes.  There is no such thing as free federal money,” Sen. Campbell said.  “It is my thought that this is money we, as Nebraskans, have sent to Washington.  We ought to bring that money back and provide good health care for all low-income Nebraskans.  And it seems to me, if we do not take advantage of this, then our state dollars will be going to another state that chooses to do Medicaid expansion.  I feel very strongly this is money that needs to come back.  We’ve all paid our federal taxes, and it needs to come back to Nebraska.”

Sen. Nordquist added: “Logically, you can’t argue against the fact the $2.3 billion of federal money that is sitting in Washington, that we would leverage between now and 2020, will create a lot of new state tax revenue, it will support a lot of new jobs in every community that has a hospital or clinic in our state.”

LB 577 was voted out of the HHS Committee for a vote by the full Legislature, but it needs all the support it can get.

Call or write your state senator and tell them LB 577 is a good opportunity and real solution for health care in Nebraska.

It is a good deal for our state, fully funded by the federal government for the first three years with Nebraska only paying 10 percent of the cost after that.  It will grow the economy by bringing billions of our tax dollars back to our economy and support 10,000 jobs.  And it’s the right thing to do by making sure our poorest people can get crucial access to health care.

Watch this video to learn more about how Medicaid is a win-win in Nebraska:

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