STATEMENT: Appleseed responds to complicated Medicaid expansion waiver approval

***For Immediate Release***
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
C: (402) 504-0074
mcazarez@neappleseed.org

Nebraska Appleseed Responds to Federal Approval of Medicaid Expansion Waiver

Nebraska does not need a complicated waiver system that makes it harder for Nebraskans to access health care

Lincoln, NE — Today, Governor Ricketts announced the federal approval of the Section 1115 waiver for the Medicaid expansion program. The waiver approval allows for a tiered benefits system and work and wellness requirements, imposing additional barriers for Nebraskans seeking health care coverage.

Nebraska Appleseed’s Health Care Access Program Director, Molly McCleery, issued the following statement in response:

In 2018, Nebraska voters opted for a healthier future for our state, choosing to expand Medicaid to 90,000 Nebraskans. Since October 1, Nebraskans have been relieved to finally access the care that they have needed for so long.

The Heritage Health Adult waiver is unnecessary and is a step in the wrong direction. The waiver proposal was submitted to the federal government for approval despite hundreds of comments opposing the complicated project. By the Department of Health and Human Services’ own estimates, the waiver will result in tens of thousands of people being locked out of dental, vision, and over the counter drug benefits. The waiver does not “enhance” benefits; it is indeed designed to deprive enrollees of those benefits.

This is not what Nebraska voters intended and is not good health policy. Nebraska does not need a complicated waiver system that makes it harder for people to access the care that they need.

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