Medicaid expansion would cut number of uninsured Nebraskans in half

Expanding Medicaid with LB 577 would reduce the number of uninsured Nebraskans by half.

Expanding Medicaid with LB 577 would reduce the number of uninsured Nebraskans by half.

We’ve been saying for the last couple years how effective the Affordable Care Act will be at allowing more Nebraskans to get access to health care, and we continue to be a strong supporter of LB 577, the bill to expand Medicaid in our state.

Last week, a pair of reports were released that validated why we continue to work to support an expanded Medicaid program.  According to information in the reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund, expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would cut the amount of people without insurance in half!

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports Nebraska would be in the top half of the country in terms of reducing the percentage of people without insurance with a 51.1 percent reduction – which ranks 22nd among all states.

The Commonwealth Fund’s interactive map shows a slightly different figure, estimating Medicaid expansion would lead to a 48 percent decrease in the amount of people without insurance, as opposed to a 27-percent drop if the ACA was implemented without the Medicaid expansion.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s report even gives the figures broken down by communities.

If Medicaid was expanded through LB 577, the Fremont, Norfolk, and Columbus area would see the biggest drop in the number of people without coverage at 55.2 percent.  Sarpy County has the next-largest decrease at 53.3 percent.

Nebraska Area

% decrease in uninsured with Medicaid expansion

Fremont/Norfolk/Columbus

55.2 %

Sarpy County

53.3 %

Grand Island/Kearney/Western NE

51.1 %

Douglas County

49.4 %

Lancaster County

48.2 %

The Medicaid expansion under the ACA is fully funded by the federal government for the first three years, and never less than 90-percent funded under the current law.  It is a great deal for Nebraska.  These new reports are more pieces in the growing mountain of evidence Nebraska must pass LB 577 for the health of our people and our future.

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