Hearing on Health Insurance Exchanges Show Need to Push Forward

Yesterday, the message from consumer advocates, providers, and insurance carriers/producers was clear: we should move forward next legislative session and consider legislation to create a state-based exchange.  Several groups, including Nebraska Appleseed, testified in front of the Nebraska Legislature’s Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, along with some members of the Health and Human Services Committee, during a public hearing on LR85, an interim study regarding the establishment of a health insurance exchange in Nebraska pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Appleseed submitted testimony at this hearing, stating that “legislation should be passed this session both to take advantage of the funding available through the ACA that must be applied for in June and to allow for a thoughtful and deliberative process in creating the exchange.”  Introducing exchange legislation this legislative session will allow for much needed dialogue on this issue to take place.  As we have stated previously, to delay this discussion until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the ACA would be irresponsible.  Even in the unlikely event that the Court rules all or part of the ACA unconstitutional, Nebraska has an invaluable opportunity to discuss potential solutions to our broken health care system.

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