Author: Jennifer Carter

A very fond farewell

Today is my last day at Nebraska Appleseed and it is bittersweet. I came to Appleseed over 11 years ago. I was new to Nebraska and looking for work that I would find more meaningful than the commercial litigation I was doing at big firms in New York. What I found at Appleseed was more meaningful and fulfilling than I… Read more →

Legislative Update

The 2014 Legislative session comes to a close this week when senators adjourn sine die on Thursday.  We’re pleased to let you know several of our big priority bills passed this session! Let’s take a quick look back at the highlights at the Capitol in 2014. Immigration reform resolution passes last week LR 399 (Sen. Wightman) – In the closing… Read more →

Legislative Update

We are just seven days away from the close of the 2014 Nebraska Legislature session and several important bills await debate, and hopefully passage.  Read on to see how your voice can influence these debates and get caught up on the Legislature action from last week. Legislature fails to pass bill to raise minimum wage for hard-working families LB 943… Read more →

Legislative Update

We’re now less than a month away from the end of the 2014 Nebraska Legislature session and last week was a big one as several of our priorities were debated on the floor. Legislature blocks Wellness In Nebraska Act from receiving vote For the second straight year, a bill to help 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans access affordable health coverage was defeated… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was the first week of full-day debate at the Legislature, and several of Appleseed’s priority bills were on the move. LB 853 – This bill, which implements stakeholder recommendations to implement the Bridge to Independence program passed on General File on March 7.  This bill will be important to ensure a solid start to the Bridge to Independence… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was the first week of full-day debate at the Legislature, and several of Appleseed’s priority bills were on the move. LB 853 – This bill, which implements stakeholder recommendations to implement the Bridge to Independence program passed on General File on March 7.  This bill will be important to ensure a solid start to the Bridge to Independence… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was the final week of committee hearings in the 2014 Nebraska legislative session, which means the rest of the session will feature full days of floor debate starting today. Appleseed’s priority bills will be up for debate over the next couple of weeks and we will be sending you notices at key moments to take action on important… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 11, 2014

A couple of Appleseed’s top priority bills received committee hearings last week, and priority bill designation has begun.  Get caught up and see how you can get involved in this week’s Legislative Update. Appleseed testifies in support of bipartisan resolution calling for common-sense immigration laws On February 5th, Appleseed joined a large group of faith, business, and community leaders to… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 4, 2014

Two of Appleseed’s priority bills were heard in committee last week with several additional important bills up for hearings this week.  Read more about Appleseed’s stances and learn how you can get involved. Wellness In Nebraska supporters pack HHS Committee Hearing On January 29, dozens of supporters packed a State Capitol room to testify in support of LB 887, the… Read more →

Legislative Update – January 28, 2014

Committee hearings on bills began last week, and Appleseed testified on several bills of interest.  We will be testifying on more of our priority bills this week during the first full week of committee hearings. Hearing on Wellness In Nebraska bill Wednesday LB 887 – The “Wellness In Nebraska Act” (WIN) would provide health insurance to at least 54,000 Nebraskans.… Read more →

Legislative Update

It’s a busy time in the Nebraska Legislature as bill introduction concludes this week and committee hearings begin.  Several key bills that Appleseed is closely following were introduced last week and still more will be in committee hearings this week. Appleseed responds to Governor’s State of the State Address Governor Heineman issued his State of the State Address on Wednesday,… Read more →

Legislative Update

The 2014 Nebraska Legislature began this year’s 60-day session last week, and each week we will provide an update on bills related to Appleseed’s programs.  It’s been a busy start to the session already, and a number of bills have been introduced that Appleseed is excited about. Wellness In Nebraska provides uniquely Nebraskan solution to health care LB 887 –… Read more →

Take Action – Add your voice to Nebraska tax discussion

Our state’s tax system affects every Nebraska family, and changes in tax policy can have big implications especially to families that make low incomes. To make sure our tax system is fair for our state’s lowest-earning families, Appleseed is keeping a close eye on the discussion about possible changes to Nebraska’s tax system made by the Legislature’s Tax Modernization Committee.… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. LB 216 – The “Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act” introduced… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. LB 99 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. Heath Mello, increases and… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. LB 195 – (the mainline budget bill) and accompanying budget bills: The… Read more →

Take Action – Help Medicaid bill get a vote!

A crucial piece of legislation is being obstructed in the Legislature.  We need your help! LB 577, the bill that would extend Medicaid coverage, would help 54,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans get access to health care.  It would provide security to our rural hospitals, our working families, and our veterans.  It is beneficial to our economy, returning $2.3 billion to our… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. LB 240 – A bill introduced by Sen. John Harms that allows… Read more →

Legislative Update

New Medicaid program bill debated in Legislature LB 577, the bill to implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid option, took center stage in the Legislature this week.  Senators engaged in day-long debate on April 16 and 17. LB 577 would provide affordable health care access to 54,000 Nebraskans while saving the state $2.4 million this biennium.  It is a… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Services and Support to 21 advances to Select File Friday, April 5,… Read more →

Legislative Update

Take Action to Support Important Bills in Legislature Last week the Legislature did not debate any of Appleseed’s priority bills.  But this week a key child welfare bill is on the agenda.  So your senators need to hear from you on a number of important bills this week. Vital transition services for youth aging out of foster care scheduled for… Read more →

Legislative Update

Green Lights In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska. With action picking up on the floor of the Legislature, here are… Read more →

Legislative Update

Bills Coming out of Committee LB 577 – It was wonderful news for the health of Nebraska’s people and economy when this bill, which would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in our state, was advanced out of the Health and Human Services Committee this week.  LB 577 is a good opportunity and a real solution to provide… Read more →

Legislative Update

Here is your weekly Legislative Update from Nebraska Appleseed. Wage subsidy program a win-win for Nebraska businesses and workers LB 368 – This bill, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, would create a subsidized employment pilot program within the Department of Health and Human Services, which would allow employers to grow their businesses and allow low-income workers to gain meaningful job… Read more →

Legislative Update

A Good Opportunity and a Real Health Care Solution LB 577 – February 27 was a big day in the Legislature for health care when LB 577 – the bill that would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska – went in front of the Health and Human Services Committee. Appleseed testified in strong support of the… Read more →

Appleseed proud to support LB 577 for greater health care access for Nebraskans

If you’ve been a follower of Appleseed for very long at all, you will have gathered one of our biggest priorities is making sure every Nebraskan has the ability to see a doctor when they or their families become sick or injured. Yesterday, Appleseed was proud to testify in support of LB 577, Senator Kathy Campbell’s bill that would implement… Read more →

Legislative Update

Because of the snow storm Thursday, the Legislature canceled hearings for Feb. 21.  Those hearings have been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 5 at 9:15 a.m. Appleseed did testify on a number of bills in committee last week Health Care Access LB 568 – In its original form, this bill would have required a restrictive licensing process for navigators who will… Read more →

Legislative Update

Appleseed testified on a number of bills in committee last week Foster Care Reimbursement Rates LB 530 – A bill that increases reimbursements for foster families to better meet the needs of children in foster care, establishes a pilot project for a new method of determining rates, and extends the Children’s Commission and its subcommittees until 2016. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week, Appleseed testified on several bills at the Legislature Appleseed Opposes Harmful Tax Policy LB 405 and LB 406 – Two harmful bills that would create a regressive tax structure by eliminating the state income and corporate taxes and eliminate sales tax exemptions.  Appleseed joined the overwhelming opposition to these two bills. Appleseed encourages a thorough, thoughtful discussion on Nebraska’s tax system,… Read more →

Legislative Update

Child Welfare takes center stage on January 31 Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare team took to the Capitol on Thursday, January 31, along with other partners, stakeholders, and young people with foster care experience in support of several bills that would continue to improve our state’s child welfare system. LB 216 – Thursday morning, Appleseed joined members of Project Everlast, Mary… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was a busy week in the Nebraska Legislature as bill introduction finished up Wednesday, January 23.  Several significant bills that Appleseed sees as priorities were introduced, as well as other bills Appleseed has a great interest in. ACA’s Medicaid program provides for a healthier Nebraska workforce and economy LB 577 – Wednesday, Senator Kathy Campbell, along with 11 co-sponsors,… Read more →

Legislative Update

News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral Every week during the 2013 Legislative session, Nebraska Appleseed will publish a Legislative Update. In these updates we will keep you informed on the progression of bills Appleseed is interested in, including Legislative testimony given by Appleseed staff, as well as ways you can get involved and make your voice heard on the… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Nebraska’s health insurance exchange plan

Today, Governor Heineman announced that the state would default to a federally facilitated exchange in Nebraska.  Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca L. Gould issued the following statement in response: “Now that Nebraska has decided the federal government will facilitate our exchange, Nebraska Appleseed looks forward to working with federal and state officials to ensure the system is focused on the… Read more →

Center For Rural Affairs Report says new program under the Affordable Care Act is critical for rural Nebraskans

The Center For Rural Affairs released a new report Monday that examines the effect a new Medicaid program would have on Nebraska’s rural communities.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the opportunity to provide coverage to low-income residents under age 65 through a new Medicaid program with significant federal assistance. The report, New Medicaid Initiative in Nebraska: The Rural… Read more →

Public Hearings on Health Care

As Nebraska moves forward in implementing the Affordable Care Act, a crucial part is in the creation of an Exchange, and it is imperative that your voice is heard! The Exchange will serve thousands of Nebraskans, and will be the place many access health insurance and get premium tax credits. As a result, it is critical that the exchange focus… Read more →

THANK YOU! Prenatal Care Restored!

Yesterday was a great day for Nebraska’s children.  The Legislature voted 30-16 to override the Governor’s veto of LB 599 and restore Nebraska’s decades-long policy of providing prenatal care and prioritizing the health of Nebraska children. Thank you for calling and emailing throughout this debate. Being engaged in this process truly made a huge difference! We also must thank the 30 senators… Read more →

Legislative Update

This was a very good week at the Legislature for children in Nebraska and several of the other issues we have prioritized at Nebraska Appleseed.  The bill to restore prenatal care, LB 599, passed its final round vote and was presented to the Governor yesterday.  And several of Appleseed’s priority bills became law this week.  Here is a quick recap:… Read more →

JOIN US TODAY, 5pm Vigil to Restore Prenatal Care!

VIGIL TO RESTORE PRENATAL CARE TODAY: Wednesday, April 11, 5pm Help ensure that all Nebraska babies have the chance at a healthy start in life.   Join us! Wednesday, April 11 5pm-6pm State Capitol, Lincoln (West side of the capitol building – at the statue of Lincoln – 14th Street & Lincoln Mall.) The effort to restore prenatal care is… Read more →

Timeline of Prenatal Care Coverage in Nebraska

The Nebraska Legislature is on the verge of passing LB 599, a bill to restore prenatal care to all low-income children. For decades the State of Nebraska maintained the wise and fiscally smart health policy to provide prenatal health coverage and ensured that all children had a chance at having a healthy start to life. Our state’s investment in prenatal… Read more →

Legislative Update

There has been a good deal of activity at the Legislature on Appleseed’s priority issues since the last update.  Here is a quick summary: “Green Lights” In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights”… Read more →

Two Years Later: The Benefits of Health Reform

March 23, 2012, marks the second anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In response, Rebecca L. Gould, Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed issued this statement: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was an historic step forward in addressing the inequalities and inefficiencies in our health care system. Over the last two years, tens… Read more →

Half Way Point at the Legislature & Priorities are Set

This is the inaugural edition of Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update, our regular look at the Unicameral’s work on issues impacting working families, immigrant Nebraskans and the communities where they live, children in foster care, access to health care, voting rights, and more.  We are sending you this edition because you have already subscribed or we hope you will after reading this update.… Read more →

More Support for Restoration of Prenatal Care

There is a great editorial this morning from the Lincoln Journal Star calling for the restoration of prenatal care coverage and the passage of LB 599. The editorial notes the irrefutable moral and fiscal reasons for restoring coverage and, we believe, rightly notes that it is time to debate this issue. It is time that voters understood who would not… Read more →

Appleseed at the Legislature

The 2012 Legislative session is off to a fast and furious start.  We are already a third of the way through this short (60 day) session and Nebraska Appleseed is working on more bills than ever before.  We’d like to highlight some of the key issues we are working on in our programs and give you an opportunity to get… Read more →

Near Miss for Nebraska’s Hungry Families

Last night the Senate considered taking action that would limit states’ flexibility in serving struggling families during difficult times and would cut food assistance to 19,000 Nebraska families.  Thankfully, this bad amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill was voted down on a 41-58 vote. The amendment, proposed by Senator Sessions, would have eliminated state flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance… Read more →

Fighting for the Common Good: John Cavanaugh

It has become cliche to talk about the children as our future.  It is more likely to conjure up a 1980s ballad rather than the obvious truism that underlies the statement.  But John Cavanaugh and Building Bright Futures (BBF) have recognized the basic truth that if we create or leave in place barriers to a good and productive future for… Read more →

A Little Perspective on Challenges to Health Care Reform

Our friends at Families USA have been fighting for quality, affordable health care for consumers for a long time.  They understand how long the road was to the Affordable Care Act.  More importantly, they have years of experience and the perspective to understand that court rulings like the one from the 11th Circuit on August 12th finding the individual responsibility… Read more →

Good News for Nebraska Women

Lately it has seemed that we have gone down a surprising road in Nebraska where pregnant women and babies are fair game in the political arena.  The heartbreaking decision by the state to terminate prenatal care for unborn children is having devastating consequences across the state.  Doctors, nurses, and health clinics have repeatedly testified since last fall about the number… Read more →

Affordable Care Act – One Year Later

Co-Authored by George Lyford Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In that year, we have already seen thousands of Nebraskans begin to benefit from some of the reform measures that went into place last September. FamiliesUSA recently released some new data on how the ACA is already helping people in Nebraska.  They… Read more →

Helping Seniors Manage Their Health

There are encouraging new statistics out today showing how provisions of the Affordable Care Act are helping Nebraska seniors access the medications they need. AARP released this statement late today: AARP: New Report Shows Progress of Health Care Law for Nebraskans in Medicare’s “Doughnut Hole” LINCOLN–New data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows the impact of… Read more →

Helping Small Businesses

There was more proof last week that the health reform law is helping just as it was intended. One of the goals of the health care law was to provide tax credits to small businesses to help ease the burden of health care costs. It’s working. According to a new survey, the number of small businesses with 10 employees or… Read more →

Healthcare.gov Web Portal is Here!

Today is an important day for those Nebraskans looking for health care coverage. Today was the launch of a web portal created by the federal Department of Health and Human Services which will help people find health care coverage options in their local areas. The web portal is one of the consumer benefits required by the new health reform law,… Read more →

Crying Wolf

Written with Robert McEwen This week marks the three month anniversary of the passage of the health care reform bill. In just that short time we have already seen positive changes. Parents can keep their children on their family coverage until age 26, seniors have begun receiving checks to help them fill the donut hole that occurs in their Medicare… Read more →

To Serve or Save? How About Both?

Last week Appleseed testified on a major shift in Nebraska’s Medicaid program. The state is moving to a “full-risk” managed care program in ten counties contiguous to Omaha and Lincoln on August 1. For over a year Appleseed has been expressing serious reservations about this change. (You can read our testimony here) The fundamental orientation of full-risk managed care is… Read more →

Coverage for What Ails You – What a Novel Idea

One of the main points of agreement in the health care reform debate (and yes, there was actually much agreement on about 80% of the bill), was the elimination of pre-existing condition denials by insurers. Its common sense: health insurance isn’t really insurance if it won’t cover the very health problem for which you need coverage. Hundreds of thousands of… Read more →

Immediate Benefits of Health Reform

The health care reform law is a major win for Nebraska children and families.  It will help tens of thousands of Nebraskans gain coverage, provide small businesses with tax credits for more affordable coverage, and will provide serious consumer protections to everyone in Nebraska. There are several key benefits for Nebraskans that will go into effect this year: New Access… Read more →

The Politics of Hate

Yesterday, the efforts to restore prenatal care to all low-income women in Nebraska in this legislative session came to an end.   The Legislature passed an amendment that may help a handful of women access prenatal care who were cut off on March 1st and are victims of domestic violence.  We are obviously glad to see critical prenatal care restored to… Read more →

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It was quite a week for health care.  (Please keep reading for important info on a sign on letter for prenatal care.) First, on Tuesday, President Obama signed the health insurance reform legislation into law.  Last night, the final amendments to that legislation were passed by the House, completing the long and arduous process of passing this legislation.  It is… Read more →

Politics Prevail

Sad news today.  LB 1110, Senator Campbell’s bill to restore prenatal care coverage, was “bracketed” today by unanimous consent.  This means that, while the bill is technically still alive, it won’t come up on the floor this session and is essentially dead.  Unfortunately, politics prevailed over good policy and there weren’t enough votes to pass the bill. Here is the… Read more →

Just The Facts Please – The Truth About Prenatal Care

Nearly another whole week has gone by for over 1,500 women and children cut off from prenatal care.  Thankfully, there were a few bright spots this week in the effort to pass LB 1110.  The Omaha World Herald came out with a very strong editorial in support of LB 1110. Other press stories made clear that the majority if calls… Read more →

Healthy Babies or Politics?

Monday, March 1st was not a good day for Nebraska.  On Monday, over 1,500 women and their unborn children lost their access to prenatal care.  For decades Nebraska has been a state that prioritized the health of the mothers and babies in this state.  On Monday, the Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services decided that wasn’t important… Read more →

Common Sense and Prenatal Care

For years Nebraska has had a common sense, compassionate, and fiscally sound policy of providing prenatal care to low-income mothers regardless of immigration status. But now, over 1,000 pregnant women face the terrifying prospect of losing their coverage for prenatal care as of March 1st. One of the worst parts of this? The coverage could easily be continued at a… Read more →

Nebraskans Deserve a Vote

This 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… Read more →

Make Your Voice Heard on the Budget

The impending budget shortfall in the state will force Nebraskans to make some very tough and clear decisions about our priorities. Senator Nordquist and members of the Appropriations Committee have created a new way for you to express your priorities to them as they work on these difficult budget cuts. They want to hear from you. Please go to www.nebraskabudget.com… Read more →

Speaking Truth to Power

Yesterday was an exciting day for Appleseed’s Health Care Access Program. We participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill about health care reform and rural communities. The event brought the voices of rural people to Congress and brought attention to rural health care issues which have often been absent from the national debate or used as an excuse to oppose… Read more →

Fix the Baucus Bill

Health care reform took one step further this past week when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled his proposal for health care reform. Now every committee of jurisdiction has come out with a health care reform bill which is a huge achievement. The Senate Finance Committee bill will play a critical role in health care reform. This makes… Read more →

Constitution Day

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution, marking one of the most important historical moments in U.S. history. What does Constitution Day have to do with health care? Well, in August we saw the Constitution thrown around in confusing ways by opponents to health reform. Today, on the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, we should… Read more →

Nebraskans Turn Out for Health Care Reform

[singlepic id=111 w=320 h=240 float=left]”Wow!” was all I could think to say yesterday after the fabulous rally at the State Capitol.  Between 600 and 700 Nebraskans turned out to show their support for health insurance reform!  Rally goers heard from several speakers, including a representative from the White House, Nick Rathod, who is a native of Hastings. Senators Jeremy Nordquist… Read more →

The Need for Equity in Health Care

On Wednesday night in Omaha, the members of the Nebraska Health Care for America Now coalition hosted a community conversation on health disparities among minorities. This was the third in a series of conversations about the health disparities that currently exist in our system and how and why those disparities should be addressed in national health care reform. In the… Read more →

Failure is Not An Option

Senator Reid announced this afternoon that the Senate would not be able to have a full vote on a health care bill before August.  This is extremely disappointing.  The delay means that our families must wait even longer for the health care they need, must struggle harder to afford their coverage, and more people will become uninsured. This delay must… Read more →

Giving Nebraskans a Choice

I’m writing this blog entry while watching President Obama’s interview on health care with ABC news and a room full of advocates, providers, economists, businesses, and everyday Americans.  It is remarkable to me, and very encouraging, that so many people are engaged and that we are having this kind of public dialogue on this critical issue. One of the most… Read more →

It’s Almost Here…

Health care reform is in the air. Last week, Appleseed, Nebraska’s Health Care for America Now coalition (HCAN), and SEIU, organized a rally in support of health care reform to counter a different event that was organized against health care reform. We had an impressive turn out given the spontaneous nature of the event — further proof that health care… Read more →

Health Care Can’t Wait

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.  It reflects a wisdom that we have often lost sight of in this country when it comes to health care.  As a nation and a state, we have failed to make the investment in a rational health care system.  The result is 460,000 Nebraskans who were… Read more →