Nebraskans Deserve a Vote

HCANThis past Saturday the Senate honored the basic principles of our democracy and voted to begin the debate to allow the health reform bill to reach the Senate floor. Sixty Senators voted on the motion to proceed, while thirty-nine voted against it. We are disappointed that Senator Mike Johanns was one of those thirty-nine who voted to block the democratic process, particularly on an issue that is so critical to Nebraskans and our country.

Our nation has worked on health care reform for more than 40 years and have been struggling increasingly under this broken system.  Now is not the time to quash the dialogue. It’s time to fix the problem.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we must remember that more and more Nebraska families are finding themselves with rising health care costs or no coverage at all. Since 2000, premiums in Nebraska have risen 2.9 percent faster than median earnings.  Left unchecked, it is estimated that premiums will be $22,976 in 2016—a full 58 percent of projected family income in the state. One in eight Nebraskans was uninsured in 2008 – 45,000 of them our children – and without reform, the number of uninsured in Nebraska in 2019 will reach 293,000.

The current system is not sustainable for our families, our businesses, our farmers, or a prosperous future for Nebraska.

Nebraskans know this.  They are watching. And they deserve a debate and a vote on health care reform.

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