STATEMENT – DHHS Ignores Voter Intent with Medicaid Expansion Implementation Proposal

***For Immediate Release***
April 1, 2019

Contact, Molly McCleery
Health Care Access Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853, Ext. 113
Email: mmccleery@neappleseed.org

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.

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  12 Replies to “STATEMENT – DHHS Ignores Voter Intent with Medicaid Expansion Implementation Proposal”

  1. Ann Cerveny
    04/01/2019 at 12:14 pm

    I voted to expand Medicaid to the 90,000+ Nebraska neighbors currently without health coverage. They deserve it this year and without a bunch of burdensome hoops to jump through!

    • 04/04/2019 at 4:06 pm

      Ann,
      Also, we are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

      Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

      Here’s some Talking Points
      ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
      ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
      ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
      ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

      Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

  2. 04/01/2019 at 12:28 pm

    Ann, we completely agree. If you would like to talk more please contact our organizers at coveragegap@neappleseed.org.

  3. Ruth Kruse
    04/01/2019 at 8:57 pm

    We must absolutely put a priority on Medicaid Expansion, and make it available by the end of 2019.
    Stalling will cost us more in the long fun: in lost lives and in health dollars.

    • 04/04/2019 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Ruth,
      This is Gwen, the health care community organizer for Appleseed. We are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

      Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

      Here’s some Talking Points
      ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
      ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
      ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
      ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

      Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

  4. Judith Cross
    04/02/2019 at 9:56 am

    NE don’t delay. Real people’s lives are at stake.

    • 04/04/2019 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Judith,
      This is Gwen, the health care community organizer for Appleseed. We are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

      Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

      Here’s some Talking Points
      ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
      ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
      ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
      ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

      Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

  5. Ann Van Hoff
    04/02/2019 at 10:35 am

    I am very disappointed with this news. How long can our State government drag its feet to prevent implementation of the intent of the voters???

    • 04/04/2019 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Ann,

      This is Gwen, the health care community organizer for Appleseed. We are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

      Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

      Here’s some Talking Points
      ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
      ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
      ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
      ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

      Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

  6. Susy McMahan
    04/04/2019 at 10:05 am

    Really Nebraska? HHS, you already have a tangled system. Nebraska voters wanted Medicaid expansion, yet you will string us along for another year. We had a chance to implement Medicaid expansion with millions in federal $$ coming to our state years ago. Yet our AG filed a lawsuit to block it for a total of twelve states who put misplaced conservative values first.
    We voted. We voted. We voted.

    • 04/04/2019 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Susy,
      This is Gwen, the health care community organizer for Appleseed. We are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

      Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

      Here’s some Talking Points
      ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
      ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
      ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
      ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

      Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

  7. 04/04/2019 at 4:07 pm

    Ann,
    Also, we are asking people to take action by calling Governor Ricketts and tell him why Medicaid expansion matters to you. Tell him you expect Medicaid to be expanded as voters intended, swiftly and effectively, without barriers to coverage.

    Call Governor Pete Ricketts Now: 402-471-2244

    Here’s some Talking Points
    ● A personal story of why Medicaid expansion matters to you and why coverage cannot wait.
    ● Voters who passed Initiative 427 did not vote for an unnecessarily complex system and delays in coverage.
    ● 90,000 Nebraskans have been waiting for 6 years for coverage and should not have to wait any longer.
    ● Changing benefits for current Medicaid enrollees is unacceptable and was not approved by voters.

    Let us know if we can help answer anything else for you : coveragegap@neappleseed.org .

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