***For Immediate Release***
April 1, 2019
Contact, Molly McCleery
Health Care Access Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853, Ext. 113
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Chooses to Ignore Voter Intent in Medicaid Expansion Implementation
Proposes to delay start for two more years and adds complex scheme including work requirements
LINCOLN – Today, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) unveiled its State Plan Amendment outlining for the federal government how Medicaid expansion will be implemented. The plan included an October 2020 start date when Nebraskans in the coverage gap will be able to access this critical health care and proposed a tiered benefits plan and work requirements not included in the ballot initiative.
Molly McCleery, Health Care Access Program Director, issued the following statement in response:
“The Department’s choice to delay implementation, add complex tiered benefit plans and work requirements to expanded Medicaid coverage, is irresponsible and contrary to the intent of Nebraska voters. This plan leaves the health of 90,000 Nebraskans who are unable to access care in jeopardy for two more years.
“Thirty-four other states have developed solutions to expand Medicaid quickly and effectively. To imply that Nebraska does not have the ability to do the same is disingenuous. It also does a great disservice to people who have already waited six years for this coverage, as well as our health care facilities and state economy, which would benefit greatly from nearly $600 million in new federal funding.
“Nebraskans understand how critical expanding Medicaid is for the health of our neighbors and the overall strength of our state and have made this clear at the polls. Neither Nebraska voters or the Legislature authorized demonstration waivers to experiment with coverage. We will continue to fight for the 90,000 Nebraskans in the coverage gap and for the intent of Nebraska voters.