Author: Molly McCleery

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)! The ACA has dramatically altered the health care landscape across the United States, including here in Nebraska, and has been a driving force in Appleseed’s work since before its passage. Fighting for Nebraskans’ access to quality, affordable health coverage has long been a core piece of Appleseed’s mission.  Alongside… Read more →

Take Action: Support LB815 to prohibit Medicaid expansion waivers

We are a state that values the health and well-being of our family members, friends, and neighbors. This is why nearly two years ago, Nebraskans voted to implement Medicaid expansion. However, the state is pursuing a complicated Section 1115 waiver program that includes numerous barriers, including tiered benefits, work requirements, and a waiver of retroactive eligibility.  LB815, introduced by Senator… Read more →

TAKE ACTION: Submit a federal comment on Medicaid expansion.

Despite comments from hundreds of Nebraskans in opposition, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services submitted their proposed Medicaid expansion waiver with minimal changes to the federal government for approval.    Unfortunately, the proposed Section 1115 waiver still includes a two-tiered benefits system, work and wellness requirements, and changes to retroactive eligibility.    It is clear that Nebraskans do… Read more →

STATEMENT: Complicated Medicaid expansion waiver submitted to federal government

Press Release December 13, 2019 Contact: Molly McCleery Health Care Access Program Director Nebraska Appleseed O: (402) 438-8853 ext 113 Medicaid expansion waiver submitted to the federal government with minimal changes The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed waiver submitted to federal government despite comments from hundreds of Nebraskans opposing the waiver LINCOLN—Yesterday, the Nebraska Department of… Read more →

Thank you for submitting a comment on Medicaid expansion!

Thank you for submitting a comment against the Medicaid expansion waiver and helping us spread the word! With your support, we were able to connect with hundreds of Nebraskans who raised their voices against the Medicaid expansion waiver!  The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed to expand Medicaid with a waiver called the Heritage Health Adult Plan, which… Read more →

Medicaid expansion wavier hearings announced

Today, the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services released their proposed plan to implement Medicaid expansion, a Section 1115 waiver known as the Heritage Health Adult Program. The proposed waiver includes a two-tiered benefits system, work and wellness requirements, and changes to retroactive eligibility. Over the next month, you have the opportunity to raise concerns about the proposed waiver at public hearings held… Read more →

RELEASE: Proposed Medicaid expansion plan released today raises significant concerns

***For Immediate Release*** Friday, October 25, 2019 Contact: Molly McCleery Health Care Access Program Director Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 113 Medicaid expansion proposal raises significant concerns with work requirements and benefits restrictions Concerned Nebraskans have opportunity to provide comments at upcoming hearings LINCOLN—Today, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services released their proposed plan for implementing… Read more →

Thank you for standing up for Medicaid expansion! What’s next?

You did it. You showed your support for Medicaid expansion. Last Friday, we kicked off the day listening to inspirational health care advocates at our press conference. Then, we filled the room for the Legislature’s Medicaid expansion hearing at the Capitol! Thank you for standing up for Medicaid expansion. But the fight is not over yet. You voted to expand… Read more →

Medicaid saving lives for 54 years!

Medicaid turns 54! It’s time for Nebraska to implement Medicaid expansion   Today, Medicaid turns 54! Since it began, it’s saved many, many lives, lifting people out of poverty and giving them the chance to pursue their passions and dreams. For decades, Medicaid has provided stable coverage for millions of Americans, including thousands of Nebraskans. Many of Nebraska’s low-income parents,… Read more →

Medicaid Expansion: Proposed changes would delay and complicate expansion

There have been a lot of developments in the last few weeks around Medicaid expansion in Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has announced a series of choices they made that will delay Medicaid expansion’s rollout until 2020, implement a series of complex and costly work requirements, and reduce coverage options for current Medicaid enrollees. On April… Read more →

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: 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… Read more →

Medicaid expansion: Acting with urgency for Nebraskans’ health

As you know, Nebraska voters approved Initiative 427 this past November to expand Medicaid to 90,000 Nebraskans. Finally, many of our hard-working, uninsured friends and neighbors will be able to get the health coverage that everyone needs. Moving forward with Medicaid expansion We know there are still many questions about next steps for expanding Medicaid and how our leaders will… Read more →

What to know about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

There has been a lot of talk lately about the need for Congress to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But what is CHIP, and why is it important? Here’s what is important to know.   What is the Children’s Health Insurance Program? The Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, is a federal-state partnership program that provides health… Read more →

Ending Cost Sharing Reductions will drive up health care costs, increase federal deficit

In the past few weeks, the Trump Administration has announced several significant changes to the American health care system. I recently blogged about the rule changes regarding birth control coverage in employer-sponsored health plans. Here’s another. On October 12, the President announced that the administration would no longer make payments for cost sharing reductions (CSRs) that help people with low… Read more →

Rule changes may mean cuts in employers’ birth control coverage

On October 6, the Trump Administration issued new rule changes that will impact coverage of birth control in employer-sponsored health insurance plans. We’ve blogged about the birth control rules in the past, and how they’ve been a game changer for women’s health in the U.S.   This is a big change to an essential health benefit Under the ACA, plans… Read more →

The latest Senate bill to repeal the ACA is the worst yet

The fight to protect quality health coverage for Nebraskans is at another critical moment. The Senate officially has until the end of September to use the budget reconciliation process to pass a bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act and dismantles Medicaid with only 50 votes. In recent days, there are reports of momentum growing around a plan sponsored by… Read more →

Action Alert – Small changes don’t fix BIG problems with health care bill

Today, the Senate released a revised version its health care bill, and it’s another verse in the same song for Nebraskans. The changes to the bill, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” do nothing to enhance protections or affordability for Nebraskans’ health insurance. In several big ways, it’s even worse than the original version. Nearly 1 in 10 Nebraskans could still… Read more →

The American Health Care Act would affect everyone’s insurance

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), its bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), early last month. Since then, we have received a lot of questions about what the AHCA actually includes and does. To help clear up some of the confusion, we put together some one-page overviews of the bill… Read more →

Take Action – Tell U.S. Senators every Nebraskan needs quality health insurance

Congress must protect, not dismantle essential health coverage protections that help thousands of Nebraskans   23 million people. That’s how many Americans would lose health coverage if the U.S. Senate passes the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed by the House of Representatives. And even people who could still afford insurance would see a big loss of protections… Read more →

Medicaid Expansion would provide vital Behavioral Health treatments to thousands

Today, we released a new policy brief on one of our Core Issues. Too many uninsured, low-income Nebraskans struggle with behavioral health challenges. This holds them back from reaching their full potential as family members, employees, and community leaders. The brief, “Medicaid Expansion and Behavioral Health in Nebraska,” explains how Nebraska could take giant strides toward meeting Nebraska’s behavioral health… Read more →

What to know about big changes to Medicaid in Nebraska

Nebraska’s Medicaid program will be undergoing big changes through Heritage Health, Nebraska’s new Medicaid managed care program. “Managed care” is a term used to describe when the state contracts with private insurance companies to manage Medicaid coverage and arrange for Medicaid services. In other words, people with Medicaid will receive their Medicaid coverage through a private insurance company. Medicaid enrollees… Read more →

The 101: About the Transitional Health Insurance Program

On January 19, State Senator John McCollister of Omaha introduced LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act. LB 1032 creates the Transitional Health Insurance Program (or “T-HIP”), which would provide health coverage for the 77,000 Nebraskans in the coverage gap. Those people who are eligible to covered by T-HIP include single adults and parents who are ineligible for Medicaid… Read more →

The Affordable Care Act has been a game-changer for women’s health

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an enormously positive impact on reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Nearly 9 million people got health coverage in the first year of the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace. This is the biggest drop in uninsurance in the U.S. since before 2008, and some experts even say that we haven’t seen this big of… Read more →

Core Issues: Medicaid Works for a Healthy Workforce and a Stronger Economy

Public policy plays a big role in the lives of thousands of Nebraskans every day. At Nebraska Appleseed, we extensively research policy solutions to some of our state’s most-pressing issues like poverty, health care access, child welfare, and immigration. Armed with data and evidence-based findings, we strive to put forward achievable solutions on the Core Issues that affect Nebraskans across the state.… Read more →

Medicaid costs are growing slower than private health coverage

Medicaid is a critical program in Nebraska, providing access to health care for many people – mostly children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Despite the important role that it plays in our state, some claim that Medicaid spending is growing at unsustainable rates. However, recent data shows that Medicaid costs have been well contained in Nebraska. According to the… Read more →

Closing the Coverage Gap Can Help Pay for Prison Reform

Nebraska is currently facing serious issues with its corrections system, primarily, the level of overcrowding and the resulting cost of corrections operations. Nebraska’s corrections facilities are currently at more than 160 percent of capacity. One way to address overcrowding is to make sure those who leave corrections facilities do not return due to reoffending. Studies show that ensuring that previous… Read more →

A healthy boost to Nebraska’s economy

With LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, Nebraska has the opportunity to close the coverage gap by creating a path to health care coverage for 54,000 Nebraskans. In addition to providing health insurance for many uninsured Nebraskans, LB 472 would significantly benefit our state’s economy:   It’s good for individuals and families Medical debt currently contributes to a significant portion… Read more →

Nebraska hospitals and communities need the Legislature to close coverage gap

Nebraska has the opportunity to close the coverage gap with LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, which would allow 54,000 Nebraskans to access health care coverage. But LB 472 also would have a significant positive impact on our state’s hospitals, and in many cases, provide essential funding to keep open health care facilities in Nebraska’s smaller communities. A recent PBS… Read more →

November 1 reduction in SNAP funding is about to hurt Nebraska families

At the end of this week, thousands of Nebraska families who receive food assistance will face even more uncertainty because of a nationwide reduction in payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. On November 1, there will be a nationwide reduction in payments from SNAP, formerly called ‘food stamps’, which helps about 180,000 Nebraskans – or 10 percent of our… Read more →

New USDA data show 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle with hunger

According to new data released Wednesday, 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle against hunger. The statistics, compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, show 13.4 percent of Nebraska households struggled with hunger on average in the years 2010-2012 according to the USDA’s annual report on food insecurity. More than 48.9 million Americans lived in households that… Read more →

House bill expected to propose damaging SNAP cuts, will harm Nebraska families

Hunger impacts many of our friends and neighbors here in Nebraska. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 13.3 percent of households in our state are food insecure. This population includes working families, children, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and even low-income veterans. Thankfully, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a vital support for 180,000 Nebraskans struggling to… Read more →

Farm bills contain SNAP cuts that will harm working families

On Monday, June 10, the U.S. Senate passed its Farm Bill by a vote of 66-27. The Senate bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation setting many of our nation’s farm and food policies, includes a huge cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Specifically, the Senate bill cuts $4.1 billion from SNAP over ten years by eliminating “Heat and… Read more →

Nebraska Participation in Summer Meals for Children Continues to Fall Short

When the school year ends, many hungry children lose access to the school breakfasts and lunches they receive during the school year. Meals provided through the Summer Food Service Program play an important role in making sure these children have access to nutritious food once the school year ends. This program is federally reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Read more →

Senate and House Farm Bills Include Drastic, Harmful Cuts to SNAP

Right now, the U.S. Congress is making important decisions about funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Funding for SNAP is included in the Farm Bill, a comprehensive piece of federal legislation authorizing and regulating funding for most federal farm and food policies. Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill every five years. Last week, the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture… Read more →