***For Immediate Release***
September 7, 2018
Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289
Medicaid expansion would improve health of workers in vital industries
New report illustrates Medicaid expansion would cover workers in occupations that are the foundation of Nebraska’s economy
LINCOLN — The vast majority of Nebraskans in the coverage gap, who would be able to finally get health coverage if Nebraskans vote in November to expand Medicaid, are working jobs vital to the state’s economy.
This is the data revealed in a new study released today — 60 days before Election Day — by Families USA, a national leader in health care research. The report reveals the top 10 occupations held by the Nebraskans who cannot currently afford health coverage, but would be covered if voters pass Initiative 427, the ballot petition to expand Medicaid.
“There are thousands of hard-working Nebraskans who will finally be able to get health insurance if the Initiative 427 ballot measure passes in 60 days,” said Patrick Willard, Families USA’s Senior Director of State and National Strategic Partnerships. “These are people working in diners and food courts, on construction job sites or in part-time jobs teaching children and caring for the elderly. In fact, 70 percent of the people who would benefit if Nebraska expanded health coverage are working right now without health care coverage.”
The top five occupations worked by Nebraskans in the coverage gap according to the findings are:
- Food service workers – 11 percent
- Office and Administrative support – 8 percent
- Retail sales – 7 percent
- Construction – 7 percent
- Cleaning and maintenance – 6 percent
Other industries in the report include: transportation, important service providers like child care and home health care workers, and people in management positions.
“This report leaves no doubt the hard-working Nebraskans who are currently going without health coverage are working jobs that Nebraska residents rely on every day and support industries that are the foundation of the state’s economy,” Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard said. “Each year, countless work hours are lost because of illness or injury. Expanding Medicaid is not only the pathway to a healthier future for working families, but is also critical to the health of our economy.”
Initiative 427 was recently approved to appear on the November 6 ballot after the Nebraska Secretary of State certified more than 104,000 petition signatures of registered Nebraska voters collected through early July. Signatures were collected from Nebraskans living in each of the state’s 93 counties, and 47 counties exceeded their signature requirement.
Currently 33 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid. Voters in Utah and Idaho also will have the chance to vote to expand Medicaid in their states in November.
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