Category: Health Care

STATEMENT – Nebraska voters chose a healthier future by passing Initiative 427

***For Immediate Release*** November 6, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Office: (402) 438-8853, Ext. 119 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on voters passing Initiative 427 Nebraskans chose a healthier future for our hard-working people by expanding Medicaid   LINCOLN — Tonight, Nebraska voters passed Initiative 427 to expand Medicaid and allow 90,000… Read more →

Economic study shows Initiative 427 would create jobs, boost economic activity in Nebraska

***For Immediate Release*** October 15, 2018 Contact, Kate Wolfe Insure The Good Life Communications Director (402) 601-7269 kate@insurethegoodlife.com Study Released Today Underscores the Economic Benefits of Medicaid Expansion With Three Weeks to Go Before Election Day, New Report Shows Initiative 427 Would Create Nearly 11,000 Jobs and Generate $1.3 Billion in Economic Activity   LINCOLN – A new study released… Read more →

New report shows expanding Medicaid would help rural Nebraska

Expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would be great news for Nebraska’s rural communities, according to a new report released today. The analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program found a higher percentage of people living in rural communities are uninsured, but would be eligible for health coverage if Nebraska voters… Read more →

New report: Expanding Medicaid would boost key Nebraska industries

***For Immediate Release*** September 7, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Medicaid expansion would improve health of workers in vital industries New report illustrates Medicaid expansion would cover workers in occupations that are the foundation of Nebraska’s economy   LINCOLN — The vast majority of Nebraskans in the coverage… Read more →

How you can help pass Initiative 427 to expand Medicaid in Nebraska

First of all, we want to say “thank you so much” for all of your hard work during the signature collection phase of the Insure the Good Life campaign to expand Medicaid in Nebraska! With help from volunteers like you, we were able to collect signatures from all 93 counties across Nebraska. Last week, the Secretary of State certified over 105,000 signatures – well over the… Read more →

STATEMENT – Secretary of State certifies petition count to let Nebraskans vote on expanding Medicaid

***For Immediate Release*** August 24, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Petition signature count certified to let Nebraskans vote on expanding Medicaid Secretary of State confirms ballot measure received well more than enough signatures to qualify for November election LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale confirmed the ballot… Read more →

2018 Mid-Year Review – All the ways you’ve stood up for justice!

The actions you’ve taken in 2018 have renewed the fight for a more-just society, building a Nebraska where everyone can have the justice and opportunity they need to get ahead.   Health Care for Every Nebraskan You astounded us. Thousands of Nebraskans have contacted their elected officials, made office visits, signed petitions and taken other actions to protect access to… Read more →

RELEASE – Medicaid Expansion supporters submit 133,000 petition signatures on Thursday

***For Immediate Release*** July 6, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Medicaid Expansion supporters submit 133,000 petition signatures on Thursday Nebraskans across the state call for chance to vote for healthier future in November   LINCOLN — Today, supporters of the Insure The Good Life campaign submitted more… Read more →

Nebraskans in the Coverage Gap – Without health coverage, Heather has to parent through pain

Any parent can tell you that having young children takes up most of your attention, and even on the best days, will require most of your energy. So every parent needs to be able to guard their health, not just for themselves, but to be at their best for their children as well. Unfortunately, like many Nebraska parents, Heather doesn’t… Read more →

Nebraskans In The Coverage Gap: Jennifer fighting uphill battle after on-the-job injury

No one should be devastated financially for suffering an on-the-job injury, but after Jennifer got hurt working in a hotel, she found that getting healthy enough to get back to work was harder than she ever could have imagined. The injury forced the Bellevue woman to lose her job, which made affording health coverage nearly impossible, and her applications for… Read more →

Nebraskans in the Coverage Gap: “Not having health insurance turns your life into a vicious cycle”

Marea Bishop vowed not to let her health problems define her. But that didn’t mean the single mother from Bellevue was immune from the harsh effects of being unable to afford health coverage. Marea told her story in an Omaha World-Herald piece, laying out how chronic health problems chipped away at her ability to work and eventually forced her to… Read more →

Tax credits, rural customers increase in 2017-18 ACA enrollment

On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final report for the 2018 Open Enrollment Period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Overall, national enrollment of approximately 11.8 million Americans was just three percent below last year’s total. Clearly, there is strong demand for quality and affordable health insurance and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ability to… 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 →

Poets and Performers – We’re looking for you!

At Appleseed, we believe that every Nebraskan should have access to quality and affordable health care, and we are constantly looking for new and refreshing ways to engage community members in that fight. One of those ways is through poetry. Creative writing and performing can have a huge positive impact on people and communities. It can help organize people around… Read more →

More Nebraskans are Getting Covered through the Marketplace in 2017

This is a guest post by Appleseed health care intern Suzie Cho.   In recent months, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Despite that, the national trend shows that more people have been signing up for marketplace coverage than in previous years. For many Nebraskans like Rayna Collins, the current… 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 →

The President’s move to end Cost-Sharing Reductions will raise Nebraskans’ health insurance costs

***For Immediate Release*** October 13, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on President’s decision to end Cost-Sharing Reductions Unnecessary move will destabilize the Marketplace and endanger Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Last night, President Donald Trump announced the administration would end important payments to insurance companies that… Read more →

CBO score confirms Graham-Cassidy would harm Nebraskans’ health care

***For Immediate Release*** September 26, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Graham-Cassidy CBO score Analysis reveals bill would gut Medicaid, endanger coverage for millions of Americans   LINCOLN — Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the Graham-Cassidy Senate health… Read more →

Graham-Cassidy threatens coverage for thousands of Nebraskans like Genevieve

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Genevieve’s Story I am writing this as a Type 1 diabetic who works for Metropolitan Community College and Nebraska Writers Collective. I have part-time jobs in… 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 →

Lawsuit: Overcrowding in Nebraska’s Prisons Has Led to Constitutional Violations That Endanger the Health, Safety and Lives of Prisoners and Staff

CONTACT: Tyler Richard, ACLU of Nebraska, 402-476-8091 x104, trichard@aclunebraska.org Alexandra Ringe, 212-549-2582 (office) or 917-207-2290 (cell), aringe@aclu.org Michael Bien, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, (415) 433-6830, mbien@rbgg.com Jeff Sheldon, Nebraska Appleseed, 402-438-8853, jsheldon@neappleseed.org   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 16, 2017   LINCOLN, Neb. – The ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU National Prison Project, Nebraska Appleseed, the National Association of… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes new organizer Felipe Blanco

In July, Appleseed was pleased to welcome our newest field organizer, Felipe Blanco. Felipe comes to Appleseed with a wealth of experience in public policy and will work in our Health Care and Economic Justice programs, connecting with people in communities all across the state on ways they can create positive change for themselves and their neighbors. “I am excited… Read more →

STATEMENT: Appleseed applauds vote against stripping Nebraskans’ health insurance

***For Immediate Release*** July 28, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Senate Health Care Bill Senate wisely rejects bill to strip health insurance for thousands of Nebraskans who need it most   LINCOLN — Early this morning the U.S. Senate voted down its latest… Read more →

Repealing ACA is a life-or-death matter for this Nebraska family

Note: We first heard Jessyca’s family’s story earlier this year. In January, she talked about how repealing the ACA would be incredibly dangerous for her family, specifically her children. She is one of thousands of worried Nebraska parents whose lives – and the lives of their children – are in the balance of Congress’ health care negotiations. Jessyca’s Story The… Read more →

STATEMENT: Senate vote puts thousands of Nebraskans’ coverage at risk

***For Immediate Release*** July 25, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Senate health care vote Senate vote is great risk to tens of thousands of Nebraskans’ health insurance   LINCOLN — This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on a bill that could… Read more →

STATEMENT: Repeal and Delay is irresponsible plan for Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** July 18, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Senate effort to repeal ACA with no replacement Move would throw insurance markets into chaos, force even more Nebraskans to lose coverage   LINCOLN — This afternoon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said… 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 →

STATEMENT – Updated Senate bill still forces millions to lose health insurance

***For Immediate Release*** July 13, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on changes to Senate Health Care Bill Cosmetic changes still will leave hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans uninsured   LINCOLN — Today the U.S. Senate released an updated version of its bill to overhaul… Read more →

RELEASE: CBO confirms BCRA devastating for thousands of Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 26, 2017   Contact, Molly McCleery Nebraska Appleseed Deputy Health Care Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Email: mmccleery@neappleseed.org   CBO score confirms Senate health care bill devastating for Nebraska BCRA would cause millions of Americans to lose coverage   LINCOLN — Monday, Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard issued the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraskans helped by Medicaid urge Senators against cuts

***For Immediate Release*** June 15, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraskans helped by Medicaid urge Senators against cuts Constituents share Medicaid success stories and tell Senators to protect health coverage   LINCOLN — Thursday, Nebraskans who have been helped by Medicaid urged U.S. Senators to oppose any… 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 →

Volunteer Spotlight – Meet Vince Litwinowicz

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state.   This is a guest post from… Read more →

RELEASE: Congress’ health care changes devastating to rural Nebraska

***For Immediate Release*** June 7, 2017 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Jordan Rasmussen Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs Office: (402) 687-2100, ext. 1032 Email: jordanr@cfra.org   Congress’ Health Care Changes Would Be Devastating to Rural Nebraska Premium increases, Medicaid cuts would cause great harm in smaller communities   LINCOLN… 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 →

STATEMENT: CBO confirms AHCA devastating for Nebraskans’ health care

***For Immediate Release*** May 24, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   CBO score confirms House health care bill devastating for Nebraska AHCA would make health care unaffordable for millions more Americans   LINCOLN — Wednesday, Nebraska Appleseed Deputy Health Care Director Molly McCleery issued the following statement on… Read more →

Take Action – Governor vetoes put kids and families in danger

Nebraska is a state that has learned hard lessons about what can happen to children and families when their needs go unmet. Yet, the Governor keeps making choices that cause further harm to our most-vulnerable Nebraskans. Today, Governor Ricketts issued several line-item vetoes to the state budget (LB 327) that will cause long-lasting harm to the safety of children in… Read more →

House votes to cut Nebraskans’ health care – What happens now

La versión en español está abajo.   It just happened. Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that will cause potentially tens of thousands of Nebraskans like Rose and Matt to lose their health coverage. Because the House rushed a vote on this bill before the Congressional Budget Office could analyze… Read more →

STATEMENT: AHCA puts Nebraskans’ health insurance in peril

***For Immediate Release*** May 4, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on American Health Care Act House vote endangers health insurance for millions of Americans   LINCOLN — Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) despite it… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Legislature to advance Medicaid expansion bill LB 441

Last week, you helped do something incredible. Thanks to your phone calls, your emails, and your decision to show up at town halls and support affordable health coverage, Congress has left the Affordable Care Act in place. This means millions of Americans – and thousands of Nebraskans – will be able to keep their health insurance. But we’ve still got… Read more →

STATEMENT: House does not vote on AHCA

House pulls bill that would strip health insurance from millions of Americans Friday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill was projected by the Congressional Budget Office to cause 24 million Americans to lose health insurance by 2026, and Medicaid would be cut by $880 billion. Last-minute amendments to the bill, which… Read more →

Open Enrollment 2017 Final Report: Nebraska’s Success

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final report for the 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period (including additional data) this past week. The data shows that Nebraskans continue to value and benefit from the quality insurance provided through the ACA, even amidst the national uncertainty surrounding the law. Nebraska enrolled 84,371 individuals in health coverage… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraska health care leaders urge Congress against Medicaid cuts

***For Immediate Release*** March 22, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska health care leaders urge Congress against Medicaid cuts House bill would result in drastic cuts to Medicaid, endangering thousands of Nebraskans   Wednesday, more than 20 Nebraska health care providers, faith groups, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations… Read more →

Even as she worked to serve others, Rose struggled to get quality insurance prior to ACA

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories.   Rose’s Story I am a 63-year-old woman who works for a non-profit organization, Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska. VOA-WN is a church of service,… Read more →

Take Action – House to vote on health care Thursday

Reports are the House of Representatives will vote Thursday morning on it’s dangerous ACA-replacement bill, the American Health Care Act. Will you call your Congressman today and urge them to vote “No”? Call your Congressman today! Let their office know you oppose this bill and want them to work on legislation that protects Nebraskans’ quality health insurance.   Dist. 1… Read more →

For young Nebraska women like Melanie, the ACA has been a game-changer

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Melanie’s Story I am 22 and a recent college graduate of Creighton University.  I like to consider myself a lifelong Nebraskan, though I was born in… Read more →

STATEMENT: House bill would strip health care from thousands of Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** March 14, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on House health care bill CBO score confirms ACA replacement would have devastating effects on Nebraskans’ health care   LINCOLN — Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the House of… Read more →

Legislative Update – March 13

Last week saw committee hearings on bill to improve health coverage and create better opportunities for youth in foster care. It also was the deadline for State Senators to designate their priority bills – which ensures the bills will be given floor debate if advanced out of committee.   Health coverage for hard-working Nebraskans On March 8, Appleseed joined dozens… Read more →

ACA lets young Nebraskans like Dominic pursue career goals

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Dominic’s Story I am a lifelong Nebraskan and have prided myself on working for local organizations that are strongly committed to the community. I worked in… Read more →

STATEMENT – LB 441 would help hard-working Nebraskans get health insurance

***For Immediate Release*** March 8, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LB 441 Bill is overdue measure to allow hard-working Nebraskans to get the health care they need   LINCOLN — Today, the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing for LB… Read more →

Take Action – House bill would cause millions to lose their health insurance

Now is the time to protect affordable health care for all Nebraskans. Will you take action today? A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that removes many of the important parts of the Affordable Care Act and would bring huge cuts to Medicaid. This would strip health insurance from millions of Americans – including thousands of people… Read more →

STATEMENT – House health care bill would strip coverage from Nebraskans who need it most

***For Immediate Release*** March 6, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on House Health Care Bill Potential cuts to care would harm tens of thousands of Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Monday, the House of Representatives introduced a bill to radically change the American health care… Read more →

Nebraska Mom worries what repeal of ACA could mean for son’s coverage

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Erin’s Story My husband and I were born and raised in Nebraska. He owns a small business in Beatrice, and I work in post-secondary education. Our… Read more →

Without employer-provided insurance, Meg can afford Marketplace coverage for important care

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Meg’s story Born and raised in Nebraska, I was raised by a single mom. I paid out of pocket for my healthcare for a long time, and… Read more →

Omaha man can juggle jobs, school and stay covered thanks to the ACA

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Want to share your story with us? Tell us why the ACA matters to you at neappleseed.org/myhealthcare Brady I’m thankful for the Affordable Care Act because… Read more →

Health insurance through ACA allows Nebraska couple to run their small businesses

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Want to share your story with us? Tell us why the ACA matters to you at neappleseed.org/myhealthcare Peggy I have lived in Nebraska for the last 15… Read more →

ACA preventive care allowed Nebraska man to get diagnosis, early treatment for diabetes

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Vince Bogener My story begins with a routine check-up. I have insurance through my employer. Really good insurance, actually. But the ACA has still benefited me… Read more →

The ACA ensured this family could afford coverage, treatment after their daughter was raped

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories.   ***Be Aware:  This story contains a description of sexual assault. It is told, and the survivor is named, with her permission.    Jann Dappen My… Read more →

RELEASE: NE health care leaders tell Congress no ‘Repeal and Delay’

***For Immediate Release*** January 18, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska leaders urge Senators not to dismantle health insurance system Over 30 health care, business, community leaders warn that hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans could lose health care protections if ACA is repealed without replacement   LINCOLN… Read more →

Because of ACA, young Nebraskan can afford coverage after childhood transplant

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Bryce Bryce is 24 years old and lives in Plattsmouth. He was born with a condition that caused him to need an intestinal transplant when he… Read more →

Take Action – Don’t let Congress tear down the health care system

This week, Congress took another step down a path that will endanger the health insurance of hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans. In the early hours of Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate cast its first vote in the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has dramatically improved the quality of health insurance in America. But it’s not too late… Read more →

ACA helps Nebraska man get health insurance despite preexisting condition

Note: We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Nebraskans who wanted to tell us how the health insurance protections of the Affordable Care Act have improved their lives. This is one of those stories. Matt Mason Matt Mason is one of the thousands of Nebraskans whose ability to get health insurance is in danger if Congress repeals the Affordable Care… Read more →

Action Alert – Now is the time to protect health care

Because of the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Nebraskans are among the millions of Americans who can now get quality, affordable health insurance. But Congress already is taking steps to end those life-saving protections with no replacement plan in sight. Will you call our Senators today? Tell Sen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Ben Sasse they can’t vote to… Read more →

Take Action! Good health coverage is at stake

We know tens of thousands of Nebraskans are among the millions of Americans who can now get quality, affordable health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. For the first time ever, thousands of Nebraskans have good insurance that covers prescription medicines and life-saving preventive care, and they can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. But Congress could vote… Read more →

Appleseed’s 2017 “Agenda of Opportunity”

Hard-working families, strong communities, and clear paths of opportunity are the foundation of what Nebraskans believe make up The Good Life. And at Nebraska Appleseed, we know that public policy has a key role to play in making sure every Nebraskan can reach their full potential. Today, we’re releasing our 2017 “Agenda of Opportunity,” a series of local, state, and… Read more →

Standing up for justice

Every day when we come to work at Nebraska Appleseed, we walk through a door that reads “Stand Up For Justice.” It’s our daily reminder that Appleseed was created to fight against the largest, most-formidable forms of systemic injustice in our state. The big problems that keep our poorest neighbors poor and put barriers right in the middle of the… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Bridget Battafarano

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… 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 →

RELEASE – Census shows over 154,000 Nebraskans remain uninsured

***For Immediate Release*** September 13, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Census data: 154,000 Nebraskans remain without Health Insurance Expanding Medicaid would further reduce uninsured population by 64 percent   LINCOLN — The number of Nebraskans living without health insurance has declined by more than 50,000 over… 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 →

Appleseed welcomes Weitz Fellow Eleanor Dollear

Appleseed is proud to welcome Eleanor Dollear as Appleseed’s Weitz Fellow for 2016-17. Eleanor will work with our Economic Justice & Health Care Access programs. The fellowship is supported by the Weitz Family Foundation of Omaha and places recent Carleton College graduates with non-profits in Lincoln and Omaha for one-year fellowships. Eleanor is originally from Chicago and graduated from Carleton… Read more →

Mapping the Coverage Gap

Note: This is a joint blog by Brian Hanson, Senior Policy Associate at the Center For Rural Affairs, and Appleseed Health Care Staff Attorney Molly McCleery.   There was much discussion last spring in Nebraska Legislature about whether we should find a way to help people in our state who fall into the health coverage gap to finally afford health… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Miriam Chapman

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a post written by Appleseed… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Sloan Rupp

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Alpha Kappa Alpha

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… Read more →

More states embracing Medicaid expansion to strengthen economy

Over the last several years, a majority of states – currently 32 and the District of Columbia – have embraced solutions to allow working people with low incomes to afford vital health insurance through Medicaid expansion. For years, Appleseed and many other partners have strongly advocated for Nebraska to do the same because Medicaid expansion is a proven solution to… Read more →

Statement on Legislature vote to bracket LB 1032

***For Immediate Release*** March 29, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on LB 1032 Debate Legislature again fails 97,000 uninsured Nebraskans who need path to affordable health coverage   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the Legislature’s vote not to advance… Read more →

RELEASE: Over 87,000 Nebraskans covered through ACA Marketplace in 3rd enrollment period

***For Immediate Release*** March 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Over 87,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace 88 percent of enrollees received tax credits to reduce cost of plans   LINCOLN — Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced more than 87,000… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 29, 2016

It was an exciting week at the State Capitol as one of our biggest priority bills faced a first-round vote last week. Plus, Nebraskans got their chance to tell their State Senators why they support health coverage for hard-working people. This is the final week of committee hearings before the Legislature moves to all-day floor debate next week. Advocates urge… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on LB 1032 Fiscal Note

For Immediate Release February 24, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853, ext. 119 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Statement on Legislative Fiscal Office Fiscal Note for LB 1032   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the release of the latest fiscal note for LB 1032, the Transitional… Read more →

Hearing for new health coverage bill draws dozens of supporters

Supporters packed a hearing room at the State Capitol on February 10 for a hearing on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program (T-HIP) Act. The new bill, introduced by State Senator John McCollister (LD-20, Omaha), is a new, bipartisan plan to help nearly 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans afford the essential health coverage they need. It also would allow our state… Read more →

Statement – LB 1032 creates path to affordable health coverage for 77,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** February 10, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement supporting Transitional Health Insurance Program Act LB 1032 would create path to affordable health insurance for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement in support… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on DHHS fiscal analysis of LB 1032

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Department of Health and Human Services’ fiscal analysis of LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act. “We have seen these kinds of 11th-hour, taxpayer commissioned reports before from the Department. At the end of the day, what matters is what the Legislative Fiscal Office projects, and that analysis… 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 →

Statement on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act

***For Immediate Release*** January 19, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed Statement in Support of Transitional Health Insurance Program   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act, introduced today by State Senator John McCollister.… Read more →

Nebraskans celebrate introduction of new Transitional Health Insurance Program

Plan would return Nebraska tax dollars to the state for private health coverage for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans Today, a bipartisan group of State Senators unveiled a new health coverage bill that would create a pathway to affordable health coverage desperately needed by 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans who currently cannot afford insurance. The plan, called the “Transitional Health Insurance Program,” or T-HIP,… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on 2016 State of the State Address

***For Immediate Release*** January 14, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed issues response to 2016 State of the State Address   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address.   “In his State of the… 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 →

Meet Kait Madsen – Appleseed’s new Field Organizer

When Kait Madsen was looking for ways to get involved on her college campus during her first year at Loyola University in Chicago, she knew she wanted to help others find solutions to problems in their communities. “I’ve always been interested in human rights and making a difference,” she said. That interest sparked a passion for organizing, and led Kait… 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 →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2015

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Tell Congress to fight child hunger Many Nebraska families report facing food hardship Newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid Local leaders attend grassroots leadership workshop Tickets now available for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Tell Congress to reauthorize funding for child nutrition programs… 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 →

Scottsbluff newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid

If you’ve followed us on social media this week, you’ve seen us share an impressively researched three-part series from the Scottsbluff Star-Herald on the damaging effects of leaving nearly 77,000 Nebraskans uninsured because Nebraska has not yet expanded Medicaid. Star-Herald reporter Irene North spent six weeks compiling data, interviewing local health officials, and talking to people in Nebraska’s panhandle about… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2015

In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Celebrating Medicaid’s 50th birthday Improving access to children’s behavioral health treatment New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day Introducing 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees Appleseed is hiring Fall interns Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Celebrating Medicaid on its 50th Birthday One of the cornerstones of our American… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Anna Grossman

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Management and Operations intern Anna Grossman is a fan of healthy people and social justice. Calling Omaha her hometown, she attended the… Read more →

Medicaid at 50: A day worth celebrating

One of the cornerstones of our American health care system reached a big milestone today when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Medicaid program. For half a century, Medicaid has improved the lives of millions of Nebraskans by providing essential health coverage to people who need it the most, while also supporting Nebraska’s hospitals and clinics and being a… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Nelly Greenberg

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Law Clerk Nelly Greenberg is taking her life experiences and her passion for helping people to Nebraska Appleseed’s Health Care program. “As… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2015

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”:   Supreme Court upholds health coverage in King v. Burwell Legal victory to protect children’s rights to behavioral health treatments Tell Congress to support Child Nutrition bills Save the date for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Capitol Rally to Close the Coverage Gap Urban Abbey Events Meet our 2015 Clerks and Interns… Read more →

When a lifetime of hard work isn’t enough for health coverage

Nebraskans pride themselves on their hard work and the state’s lowest-in-the-nation unemployment rate. Farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and service workers are the foundation of our state’s success and thriving economy. Unfortunately, many of these fundamental jobs don’t provide health insurance, leaving workers without access to care. Marcia McIlheran of Hastings is one of the 77,000 Nebraskans who, despite working… Read more →

STATEMENT – Supreme Court ruling ensures health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 25, 2015   Contact, James Goddard Health Care Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 jgoddard@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on King v. Burwell Ruling Supreme Court decision upholds access to vital health coverage for Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on… Read more →

RELEASE: Supreme Court ruling will affect health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 18, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Health coverage of 57,000 Nebraskans hinges on Supreme Court ruling Adverse Court decision could strip health coverage from Nebraskans statewide   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA shows the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King… Read more →

RELEASE: Capitol rally calls on Legislature to focus on closing coverage gap

***For Immediate Release*** June 6, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Capitol Rally calls for Legislature to close the Coverage Gap Nearly 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans can’t wait for solution   LINCOLN — Saturday, a crowd of approximately 100 supporters gathered outside the State Capitol to call for Nebraska’s State… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 20, 2015

Two bills to help working families advanced to Final Reading last week, highlighting a busy week in the Legislature. Here is your Legislative Update for the week of April 20. Working families bills pass Select File It was a good start to last week when two bills to help hard-working families moved to Final Reading on Monday, April 13. LB… Read more →

Take Action – Tell U.S. Senate to fund Children’s Health Insurance Program

Today is an important day to take action by asking our U.S. Senators to make children’s health care a priority by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Senate is back from recess today and their first action must be to extend funding for CHIP, a program that provides health coverage for over 55,000 Nebraska children. The… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 13

Last week was a great example of the ups and downs of our work in the Nebraska Legislature.   Medicaid Redesign Act voted down On April 8, the Legislature heard debate on LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. This important bill would have closed the coverage gap that currently leaves more than 70,000 Nebraskans without access to health coverage.… Read more →

STATEMENT – Failure to advance LB 472 leaves 77,000 Nebraskans without coverage

***For Immediate Release*** April 8, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s decision not to advance LB 472   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s decision not to advance LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. “Today’s vote was… Read more →

STATEMENT – Legislature must pass LB 472 to close the coverage gap

***For Immediate Release*** April 8, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed urges Legislature to pass LB 472 to close coverage gap Medicaid Redesign Act would enhance healthcare access, boost economy   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement in support of LB… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 6

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral April 6, 2015   This is shaping up to be one of the biggest weeks of the Legislative session for Appleseed’s priority bills.   Medicaid Redesign Act set for debate Wednesday afternoon, the Legislature will begin debate on LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. Passing this crucial bill… Read more →

RELEASE – Over 170 Nebraska faith leaders urge Unicameral support for health coverage bill

***For Immediate Release*** March 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Rev. Keith Nelson Omaha Together One Community Clergy Caucus Mobile: 402-304-3648 Email: OTOCforNebraska@gmail.com More than 170 Nebraska faith leaders sign letter of support for Medicaid Redesign Act Faith leaders urge State Senators to pass LB 472 for health… Read more →

Legislative Update – March 16

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral March 16, 2015 Last week, committees met and discussed two of Appleseed’s top priority bills, but we still await action on one of them during this final week of committee hearings. HHS Committee advances LB 472 to the floor On March 10, the Health and Human Services Committee voted… 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 →

Come to LB 472 Lobby Day – March 5

Right now, more than 54,000 working Nebraskans have no way to afford health insurance This coverage gap results in enormous human and financial costs that can no longer be ignored. The Nebraska Legislature can close this coverage gap in 2015 by passing LB 472, and you can make your voice heard! Join us for a lobby day at the Capitol on March 5th… Read more →

Open Enrollment, Campaign Successes and Tax Season Enrollment

At least 74,000 Nebraskans can rest a little bit easier knowing that they are covered by health insurance following the close of the national open enrollment period February 15. The Department of Health and Human Services announced state numbers February 18 and also reported that over 11.4 million individuals signed up nationwide, surpassing the goal set by the White House in… 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 →

Legislative Update

This is your weekly Nebraska Legislature update. Committee Hearings last week Appleseed testified on several bills during Legislature committee hearings last week. LB 12 – A bill to streamline the Medicaid process for eligible Nebraskans who enter and leave the criminal justice system. This bill will improve health care access while saving costs in the corrections system. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

STATEMENT – Business, faith, education, and health care groups support LB 472

***For Immediate Release*** Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org LINCOLN — Today a coalition of more than 20 business, health care, education, faith and community groups issued a joint statement in support of LB 472, introduced today by State Senator Kathy Campbell, that would close the coverage gap that currently leaves more… Read more →

ACTION ALERT – Tell your State Senator to Close the Coverage Gap

Today, a bill was introduced in the Legislature that would close Nebraska’s health coverage gap and fix a problem that currently inflicts high human and financial costs on our state. We hope you’ll act today to show your support. We’re asking you to contact your state senator and urge them to support LB 472, to make health care make sense for… Read more →

RELEASE – ‘500 by the 15th’ surpasses health coverage goal

***For Immediate Release*** December 19, 2014   “500 By The 15th” campaign widely surpasses health insurance enrollment goal Organizations assist nearly 900 Nebraskans in new or renewed coverage plans LINCOLN — A statewide campaign to help at least 500 Nebraskans enroll in health insurance or renew previous plans in the first half of December was a resounding success, Enroll Nebraska… Read more →

Shopping around could mean big savings on health insurance

For those who signed up for health insurance last enrollment period through Health Insurance Marketplace, plans will be automatically renewed for the upcoming year starting tomorrow. While this makes it easier for individuals to stay covered, most could save money by reviewing their plans and considering switching to a different insurer.  According to an article in The New York Times,… Read more →

The Costs of the Coverage Gap in Nebraska are Too High to Ignore

On December 2, Nebraska state senators again witnessed the high human and financial cost our state is paying by not closing the coverage gap that leaves at least 54,000 working people unable to get health insurance. The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee convened for a hearing on interim study LR 601 to study the effects of implementing or failing… Read more →

‘500 by the 15th’ campaign to encourage Nebraskans to get health coverage

***For Immediate Release*** December 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org  “500 by the 15th” campaign aims to help Nebraskans get health coverage Statewide health care organizations available to provide free assistance Today, community and health care organizations across Nebraska announced the kickoff of a new effort to ensure Nebraskans get… Read more →

Families USA report: Working Nebraskans being left without coverage

***For Immediate Release*** December 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report shows vast majority of Nebraskans in Coverage Gap are working Nearly three-quarters of those unable to get health coverage have held jobs in past year LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA, the national… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes Eric Savaiano to Economic Justice and Health Care programs

October 1st, Appleseed was proud to welcome the newest member of our team when Eric Savaiano joined us as a Program Associate with our Health Care and Economic Justice programs. Eric comes to us from Nashville, Tenn., where he previously worked at an educational nonprofit called the PENCIL Foundation as a Family Resource Center Director at a large, diverse, public… Read more →

“Medicaid Works” photo project shows value of health care for all Nebraska families

Medicaid is vital to the wellbeing of many Nebraskans with disabilities. Unfortunately, this critical health insurance program is often poorly understood and stigmatized. The “Medicaid Works” photo project promotes an accurate picture of the many ways this essential program supports thousands of Nebraskans every day. View the entire “Medicaid Works” photo project. With support from the Nebraska Planning Council on… Read more →

Nebraska consumers find affordable options through Marketplace insurance plans

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that Nebraskans are finding affordable health insurance plans in the new Health Insurance Marketplace because of the competition and choice provided. Nebraskans who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type, with tax credits paid an average premium of $79 per month through the Health Insurance… Read more →

Traveling Nebraska brings new friends and new focus on health care needs

Last week, I traveled around central Nebraska, reaching out to and meeting new organizations and individuals doing outreach and enrollment work for the Affordable Care Act. I am working to expand the Enroll Nebraska coalition with the goal to make it a truly statewide network, connecting organizations to resources and to one another. As I met with people along the… Read more →

People changing individual health insurance plans is nothing new

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have tried to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the law despite more than 8 million Americans – and 43,000 Nebraskans – signing up for private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the first ACA enrollment period. One of their common complaints is that many Americans with nongroup coverage not provided by their… Read more →

DHHS announces nearly 43,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nearly 43,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace Nebraska exceeds goal set by feds in health coverage enrollment under Affordable Care Act LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported nearly 43,000 Nebraskans enrolled… Read more →

First ACA enrollment a success! So, now what?

A big congratulations is in order for all of the organizations and individuals who worked tirelessly throughout our state to make the first Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period a success! As of Monday, March 31st,  7.1 million people across the country have successfully enrolled in private coverage through the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace or their state equivalent. This… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Woman able to take deep breath with affordable insurance

Rebecca Cech from Bellwood, Neb., found herself in a dangerous coverage gap that left her unable to afford health insurance.  She is self-employed, made an income too high to qualify for Medicaid and too low to afford private insurance…or so she thought. Rebecca knew she could not go uninsured. She has severe asthma and regularly uses two different medications plus… Read more →

Health Care Supporters Vow To Keep Fighting

Last week, a group of state senators left 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans without a path to health care coverage when they filibustered LB 887 – the Wellness In Nebraska Act that would have helped Nebraskan with low incomes get affordable health insurance. But Wednesday, state senators who have shown leadership on health care access joined advocates at the State Capitol for… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – No more choosing between food or medicine

Twenty-four-year-old Selene Cruz of Gering, NE recently lost access to Medicaid coverage because her income rose when she began working two jobs to better provide for her children. At the time, she had a prescription refill coming up. Selene has severe fibromyalgia, and her medication would cost her more than $800 each month without insurance. On top of that, she… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Marketplace provides new, less-expensive coverage plans

Sharlette Schwenninger is self employed and had been purchasing her own health insurance for five years. Every year, her premiums had been rising, but due to her own health concerns, she had always felt she needed a higher-premium plan. The insurance plan she had at the time had become very expensive outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so she decided… Read more →

Please thank the senators who fought for hard-working, uninsured Nebraskans

As you may have seen this morning, LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, that would have provided a path to affordable health insurance for at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, was filibustered this morning. The vote to end debate was 27-21, with 33 votes necessary to end debate. While this is a disappointing outcome, we will continue to work with… Read more →

Legislature denies health care access to 54,000 Nebraskans

Today’s failure to pass the Wellness in Nebraska Act hurts 54,000 of our hard-working families, neighbors, and friends, who now must continue to live and suffer without proper access to health care by having no options for affordable insurance,” Gould said.  “This decision also hurts our state, by missing the opportunity to make real and positive improvements in our broader… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Young professional finds complete coverage

26-year-old Sara Tangdall teaches part-time as an adjunct English composition professor in the Omaha-metro area. Because she does not have a full-time position, she was unable to get insurance through her job, so she decided to check out the Health Insurance Marketplace. Having insurance for Sara is critical because she has severe asthma and allergies and requires prescriptions that, without… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Omaha man dissatisfied with old insurance finds new coverage in Marketplace

Adam Witte, 31, of Omaha had been purchasing private insurance on the individual market for the last several years, but he admits he was not exactly in love with the customer service experience of his old insurance company. “First the number would disconnect me after being on hold for 45 minutes,” Adam said.  “So I tried a different number and… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

Appleseed statement on LB887 advancing to floor of the Legislature

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB887, the Wellness In Nebraska Act, being advanced to the floor of the Legislature by the HHS Committee. “We strongly support today’s decision by the HHS Committee to advance LB 887 to the floor of the Legislature.  WIN will provide essential and affordable health insurance coverage for 54,000 of our… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Marketplace saves money for Omaha business owner

As October 16th neared, Omaha resident Mike Nellis knew he would not only be celebrating his 26th birthday—he would also lose access to his parents’ health insurance. As a small business owner, Mike couldn’t afford to provide insurance for himself through his company. He knew he would have to seek out options on his own. Because of the initial difficulties… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887

***For Immediate Release*** January 29, 2014 PRESS RELEASE: Statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887. WIN would extend health insurance access to at least 54,000 working Nebraskans. LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 887, which would provide health insurance coverage to 54,000 working Nebraskans that will otherwise remain uninsured.… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: New policies help Nebraskans receive mental health care

One of the most beneficial pieces of the Affordable Care Act that is often overlooked is the importance the ACA gives to mental health.  Mental health coverage is one of the 10 essential health benefits that new insurance policies must cover according to the ACA. That provision already is helping Nebraskans.  Last weekend, Cathryn Reed of St. Edward, Neb., wrote… Read more →

More than 14,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace to start 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported this week Nebraska is in the top 20 of states in enrolling people in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. According to DHHS figures, 14,464 Nebraskans have purchased private plans through the Marketplace.  That number is 77 percent of the goal set for the state by the Centers… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill LB 887

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on LB 887, which would help more working Nebraskans get access to affordable health care coverage. “A strong economy, a productive workforce, and a thriving future for our state all depend on having a health care system that works for all Nebraskans.  LB 887 would provide health insurance to… Read more →

ACA in Nebraska: Marketplace helped young entrepreneur get covered

A couple years ago, Phil Jarrett, a young professional in Omaha, found out that his medical costs didn’t stop once he got done paying for surgery. That was the year Phil spent nearly half of his annual income on medical bills – even with health insurance provided by his employer. “My old plans wouldn’t cover items relating to pre-existing conditions… Read more →

Rachel Gehringer-Wiar joins Appleseed as Health Care Program Associate

At the beginning of January, Appleseed was pleased to welcome Rachel Gehringer-Wiar to our Health Care Program as a Program Associate. Rachel is an Omaha native, a former Nebraska Appleseed intern, and recently graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. While attending UNL, Rachel became very involved organizing and community work.  She led… Read more →

New survey shows U.S. falls short of other countries in health care affordability for adults

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund looked at the access and affordability of health care for adults in 11 countries, including the United States. The results don’t speak well for us here in the USA when stacked up against other developed nations.  The survey found that adults in the U.S. were more likely than peers in other countries to… Read more →

Safety Net Hospitals Face Crippling Cuts without Medicaid Expansion

One of the cost-saving measures in the Affordable Care Act was the reduction in disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments to the states. DSH payments are federal money that goes to hospitals serving a large (or disproportionate) number of uninsured or underinsured patients, to offset those costs. The ACA was constructed so DSH payments wouldn’t be needed anymore because nearly everyone… Read more →

Affordable Care Act provides health care coverage opportunities for youth with foster care experience

There has been a lot of talk and excitement recently about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully implemented starting January 1, 2014.  While the ACA goes a long way in providing Nebraskans with access to affordable and comprehensive coverage, there are a few lesser-known provisions.  In particular, youth who age out of foster care will be eligible… Read more →

The End of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool

Beginning October 1, those who have been denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition will be able to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance Marketplace. That coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Until now, the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool in Nebraska (or CHIP) has been the only option for Nebraskans who couldn’t… Read more →

Resources ready to help as we countdown to Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is just around the corner. Beginning October 1, many of those who are uninsured and don’t have access to health care coverage through their employer can purchase coverage in the new health insurance marketplace. And, in fact, a new study suggests almost half of those eligible for coverage in the new marketplace will pay less than $100 per… Read more →

Health insurance marketplace provide more options for seniors

As a New York Times article points out, the new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act offer those who are nearing retirement age more options. Currently, someone who might be contemplating retirement might choose to delay until they are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Those who retire prior to age 65 may have a difficult time… Read more →

The ACA has good news for young people and rural residents

Two new reports released this week promise relief from high premiums and the anxiety that comes from being uninsured once all provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect January 1, 2014. The Center For Rural Affairs points out that rural Nebraskans will especially benefit from the premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies that will be available in the… Read more →

Crowd rallies at Capitol to urge senators to bring Medicaid bill to a vote

There are days when we at Nebraska Appleseed are especially proud of the work we do and the wonderful friends, partners, and supporters who we stand with. Yesterday was one of those days when 300 supporters gathered at the State Capitol to show their support for LB 577, the bill that would extend Medicaid to 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, bring more… Read more →

Free public presentation on the Affordable Care Act in Omaha – May 10

Join us in Omaha on Friday, May 10 for a free presentation on the Affordable Care Act and the new Medicaid program being debated in the Legislature.  This program is hosted by First United Methodist Church – Omaha. Nebraska Appleseed attorney Jerusha Hancock will answer your questions, tell you how the new health care reform law will work for you,… Read more →

Make your voice heard on Facebook and Twitter to help bring Medicaid bill to a vote

Today, we’re asking all our supporters to take a moment to help bring LB 577 to a vote and help 54,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans to get health care coverage while returning $2.3 billion to our state’s economy. A small group of state senators are preventing this bill from coming up for a vote.  That is not how important decisions should… 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 →

Debunking the ACA Rate Shock Myth

One of the myths that has been circulating about the impact of the Affordable Care Act is that it will force insurance rates to go up sharply. A new fact sheet from Community Catalyst dispels those myths. Some things to remember when considering the impact that the ACA will have on private insurance premiums: Because insurers will not be allowed… Read more →

CBPP paper shows Medicaid saves lives and dollars

A new policy paper from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers an excellent overview of Medicaid, the state-federal partnership program that provides health care coverage to millions of low-income children and adults. The data is clear – Medicaid is a cost-effective program that saves lives and money. Some of the highlights from the report include: Expansions of Medicaid… Read more →

Understanding how the new Medicaid program is a firm commitment

There was much hand-wringing earlier this week from opponents of LB 577, the bill that would implement the new, extended Medicaid program in Nebraska, when it was announced the federal government would be reducing its funding for our state’s existing Medicaid program by $8 million next year. Opponents would love to use this reduction as a sign of the instability… Read more →

Medicaid Covers People in a Cost-Efficient Way

The new Medicaid program offers Nebraska a way to provide health care to tens of thousands of people in our state who need it most.  Next week, lawmakers will debate LB 577, which would implement the new Medicaid program in Nebraska. But why Medicaid? Basically, because Medicaid is the most cost-effective means of insuring low-income individuals and families. We know… Read more →

AARP survey shows majority of Nebraskans support new Medicaid program

A new survey released today conducted by AARP Nebraska shows the majority of Nebraskans support the new Medicaid program, implemented by LB 577, which would provide health care access to at least 54,000 uninsured people in our state. AARP Nebraska released the results of the survey at a press conference today at the State Capitol.  The survey, which polled 600… 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 →

New Video: Medicaid program a win-win for Nebraska

We know Medicaid already works in Nebraska, helping children and low-income working families to see a doctor when they get sick.  It works for our state’s economy too, with studies estimating every dollar spent on Medicaid eventually produces at least seven dollars for our local economy. Now, we have a great opportunity to embrace a real solution to provide health… Read more →

Statement on bill to repeal prenatal health care

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB 518, a repeal of prenatal health care for all Nebraska women. “We are very disappointed to learn of this effort to undermine the health of Nebraska children by denying access to prenatal care.  Last year, the Legislature had a thoughtful and deliberate discussion on providing prenatal care to low-income… Read more →

LB 577 is a great opportunity & real solution to improve the health of all Nebraskans & our state economy

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould made the following statement on LB 577, the legislative bill that would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska. “LB 577 is a tremendous step toward ensuring the future health of Nebraskans.  The bill ensures that we take advantage of the opportunity to provide access to health care to at least 54,000… Read more →

New Medicaid program gaining momentum as states recognize benefits

As state Legislatures come back into session this month and budget discussions begin, the new Medicaid option under the Affordable Care Act is gaining momentum. In the past week alone, the governors of Arizona and North Dakota, who both had previously spoken out against the ACA, included the new Medicaid plan in their budgets because of the economic benefits that… Read more →

The Rural Implications of Health Insurance Coverage in Nebraska

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a new report on health insurance coverage in Nebraska. The report highlights the need for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Nebraska, including the new Medicaid program. Our rural counties have higher rates of uninsured, as well as poorer health outcomes, than our cities. The new Medicaid program could cut the… Read more →

The Cost and Coverage Implications of the New Medicaid Program

Linda Manns from Bellevue had health insurance all her life, until she recently lost her job as a certified nurse assistant.  Linda has diabetes, which kept her from working mandatory overtime her employer required, which she said resulted in her being let go. Recently, Linda got an infection in her toe.  Without health insurance, she couldn’t afford to go to the… Read more →

How the new Medicaid program would fuel the Nebraska economy

Last week, we talked about the coverage gap that about 78,000 Nebraskans would fall into if the Legislature chooses not to implement the new Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. These are Nebraskans that don’t qualify for the current Medicaid program, but don’t make enough to be able to get tax credits to buy health insurance through the Exchange.… 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 →

New study says only half of small-business employees get health benefits

A new study from the Commonwealth Fund, an independent health care policy foundation, confirms an alarming, decade-long decline in the number of employees working in small businesses who receive health insurance from their employers. The report found that in 2010 only 49 percent of workers in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees were offered and eligible for health insurance… Read more →

How the Affordable Care Act helps Nebraskans in a nutshell

The Affordable Care Act is already helping thousands of Nebraskans, and will help even more with full implementation of the law in 2014. Nebraska Appleseed has created a new fact sheet that explains the basics of the law, including the current consumer protections in effect, how you’ll be protected in the future, and the ways that the ACA makes health care… Read more →

Upcoming Community Forums explain Health Care Reform in Nebraska

Nebraska Appleseed is out and about in the community this week to participate in a pair of community events about the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday night, join us for either a presentation in Lincoln or a panel discussion in Omaha. OMAHA Wednesday, October 17 from 7-9pm “Myth & Reality: Explaining the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” Jewish Community Center Social… Read more →

October 2012 News & Events

In this October edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha & Lincoln Nebraska Student Organizing Conference: Oct. 20-21 Meet our law clerks! Nebraska’s emerging public interest leaders More than 325 people celebrate at the Good Apple Awards Stand Up For Justice: A Poster Show Benefiting Nebraska Appleseed   Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha… 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 →

Outstanding contributions to justice recognized at Good Apple Awards

Nebraska Appleseed recognized several courageous Nebraskans Thursday night whose work has contributed to the fight for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards. More than 300 people attended the Good Apple Awards at the Omaha Livestock Exchange Building ballroom.  Thursday’s event was the fourth such awards celebration for Nebraska Appleseed and drew its largest crowd ever.… Read more →

Rachel Jacobson to Receive the Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Appleseed’s annual Good Apple Awards is less than one week away and Appleseed is excited to highlight our final honoree. The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award, named after Nebraska Appleseed’s founding executive director, recognizes young, emerging leaders who have a vision for the best of what Nebraska can be and, through initiative, hard work, and dedication, are pushing to make… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed I was born and raised in Nebraska and lived there until I left for law school, so many of the problems and issues facing Nebraska are very close to my heart. My experience working at Nebraska Appleseed was absolutely amazing and… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed Over the course of the summer, I was able to assist the Nebraska Appleseed office attorneys in a number of areas. The main project I worked on over the summer dealt with child welfare litigation. My office brought a class-action suit against… Read more →

Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4

In just two weeks, Appleseed will celebrate Nebraskans who stand up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards Make your reservations today. Individual tickets are $50. Young professionals tickets are $35. Tickets for students, seniors, and fixed-income are $20. 100% of your purchase directly supports Appleseed’s efforts fighting for justice and opportunity for all. Join… Read more →

Roots of Justice Awardees build multi-ethnic alliances to fight for justice

In just two weeks Appleseed will host the Good Apple Awards on October 4 in Omaha. We wrote recently about some of our honorees including Senator Kathy Campbell and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act Coalition. This year, Appleseed is proud to present our Roots of Justice Award to a trio of Omaha community leaders who work together to build multi-ethnic alliances to help protect the voting… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks!

Throughout the year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with exceptionally bright young advocates through our intern and law clerk program. These students provide valuable support sharing their energy, creativity, and passion for social advocacy. This summer, Appleseed was fortunate to have eight public interest-minded law students clerk in our office: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law,… Read more →

September News from Nebraska Appleseed

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: New data on poverty in America UNMC report reveals Medicaid expansion would cover 90,000 uninsured Deferred Action Forum: a new opportunity for DREAMers Appleseed files petition for hearing on meatpacking worker health & safety Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4 New data on poverty in America On Wednesday,… Read more →

Public programs help millions living in poverty

On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest poverty, income, and health care statistics.  The data indicate that while the number of Americans living in poverty has stabilized from increases since the start of the economic recession, more must be done to help the millions of Americans still suffering under the crushing weight of poverty. According to the Census… Read more →

Consumer Advocates Weigh in on Nebraska State Health Exchange

This morning, Governor Heineman invited a broad range of consumer advocates to give testimony on the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange in Nebraska.  Nebraska Appleseed was one of the organizations that offered testimony – expressing our hopes that a state exchange will be focused on the consumer and increase access and affordability of coverage. The Affordable Care Act… Read more →

Who Does the Affordable Care Act Help?

At Nebraska Appleseed, we’ve become familiar with countless stories that illustrate the many ways the Affordable Care Act will help individuals and families. Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families posted the first story in a series, profiling everyday people whose situations illustrate how important health reform is. In Josh’s case, the ACA will help his parents afford health insurance with… Read more →

Journal Star Editorial Reveals “Silent Tax,” a Huge Cost to Health Care Consumers

In the discussions about how to fix our broken health care system, much has been made on how much it would cost the state to take up the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid guidelines. But an editorial in today’s Lincoln Journal Star shines a light on the huge cost of uncompensated care that hospitals and insurance companies pass on to… 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 →

UNMC Report Reveals Medicaid Opportunity We Can’t Miss

Today, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy released a report examining the potential economic impact the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new Medicaid program would have on Nebraska. The results paint a clear picture that the state would receive significant returns on an investment made in the good health and well-being of its citizens through this new… Read more →

Public Meeting “A Positive Step” in Health Insurance Exchange Implementation

This morning the Governor announced a series of meetings regarding a health insurance exchange in Nebraska.  The exchanges under the Affordable Care Act are a great opportunity to create a marketplace that provides consumers with clear information and choices and will result in access to health care for thousands of Nebraskans and a stronger future for our state.  A broad… Read more →

Nebraska Medicaid Expansion – By the Numbers

A new report released recently by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation breaks down exactly which demographics will benefit from the Medicaid expansion. The state-by-state analysis suggests that 15.1 million Americans could gain coverage if the Medicaid expansion is fully implemented. In Nebraska, that’s 78,000 people that make less than 138% of the federal poverty level who… Read more →

Important Information on New Prenatal Care Law

A few months ago the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 599 (LB599), which restores coverage of prenatal care to all unborn children, regardless of the immigration status of the mother.  The law went into effect on July 19, so women can start applying for and receiving coverage for prenatal care services as long as they meet certain Medicaid requirements. There… Read more →

Good News for Those With Pre-existing Conditions

Now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court, there’s good news for those with pre-existing conditions that might have previously kept them from getting health insurance. Starting in 2014, insurance companies can no longer refuse to issue policies because an adult has a pre-existing condition, or issue a policy that doesn’t cover that condition. They… Read more →

Join Appleseed at the Maha Music Festival

We have some exciting news to share: Appleseed is going to the Maha Music Festival on August 11! Each year, the nonprofit and volunteer-led Maha Music Festival in Omaha brings the community together around great local and national music. As Maha puts it, “It’s about being in Omaha and loving every second of it. In the plainest sense, Maha is… Read more →

Preventive Care for Women Now Available Without Cost-Sharing

The Affordable Care Act requires certain women’s preventive health services to be made available without cost-sharing for plan years beginning on or after August 1. There has been a lot of media coverage on this provision, but the National Health Law Program has a great Q&A to answer all your questions on what services are covered, and whether your insurance… Read more →

Take Action on Medicaid, Appleseed at Maha, & The Good Apple Awards!

The temperature hasn’t been the only thing heating up in Nebraska the past few weeks. The debate on whether Nebraska will take the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion – and expand health care coverage to at least 50,000 uninsured Nebraskans – has been heating up as well. In spite of the heat, Appleseed has been out and about in the… Read more →

Leaving Money on the Table

Now that the furor immediately surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has died down, the battle for healthcare coverage has moved to the individual states. According to this infographic from MSNBC, only four states have said outright they will refuse to take up the Medicaid expansion, but nine states have stated that they will expand, and… Read more →

A Great Opportunity and a Real Solution

Nebraska advocates urge expanding health care coverage under Affordable Care Act Today, representatives of several Nebraska organizations, including Nebraska Appleseed came together in support of the opportunity under the Affordable Care Act to increase access to health care coverage.  The ACA creates a new program that will provide coverage to persons under the age of 65 who have incomes below… Read more →

OpenSky Policy Institute Report Shines Light on Nebraska State Budget

“The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.” These words are engraved over the entrance to Nebraska’s state capitol.  They have added meaning here in Nebraska, the only state in the nation with a Unicameral Legislature. Today, a new report from the OpenSky Policy Institute, “Looking for Clarity: An Overview of Nebraska Budget and Tax Policy”  was released.… Read more →

Register Today for CFRA’s Grassroots Advocacy Training

Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about engaging in advocacy on issues you care about from the great folks at the Center for Rural Affairs. We have a few spots left – RSVP today.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, family and neighbors who might be interested.   Grassroots Advocacy Training –… Read more →

Health Care, Immigration, Fair Pay & You’re Welcome!

In this edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Health Reform: Quality, affordable and constitutional health care for all; Arizona’s SB1070: Socially toxic and unconstitutional; Lilly Ledbetter in Omaha: One Woman’s Battle for Justice; You’re Welcome in Omaha!; Take Action: Opportunity for DREAMers Read more →

A Great Day for Nebraskans: Nebraska Appleseed Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

Nebraska Appleseed applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today finding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act legal and constitutional. “Today is a great day for Nebraskans and the future health of our country, our families, and our friends and neighbors,”  said Rebecca Gould, Executive Director at Nebraska Appleseed.  “This is the right legal result and means the benefits that… Read more →

The High Stakes of the ACA

A recent article in The New York Times features several Lincoln residents, among others, who have a lot to lose if the Affordable Care Act is struck down by the Supreme Court on Thursday. Many insurance companies refuse to sell to those who have pre-existing conditions.  Pre-existing conditions can be anything from a chronic illness to an allergy you had years… Read more →

More Benefits to Nebraskans From the Affordable Care Act

Yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 12.8 million Americans will benefit from $1.1 billion in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule.  Nebraskans are expected to receive $4.8 million in rebates.  More than 46,000 people will get a rebate, with an average of $215 per family. These rebates… Read more →

Ground Shift Implications

A recent Health Affairs blog post discusses possible implications for the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  Each of the Court’s possible rulings was given a Richter Scale rating based on how great a “ground shift” it would cause. Read the full post at Health Affairs The Richter Scale is a great shorthand for understanding… Read more →

Anticipating the Supreme Court’s Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act later this month, which means that now is a good time to review the questions and possible outcomes. Kaiser Health News has an excellent chart, released last November, describing the questions, how they’re related, and potential outcomes. Like many others, Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Free CLE Credit – Affordable Care Act Webinar

Nebraska Appleseed is offering a free webinar on June 13th, from 12 to 1 pm, on the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court. The webinar is approved for 1 CLE credit through the Nebraska Bar Association, and will address the basic provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the consumer protection provisions, the Medicaid expansion, the health insurance exchanges,… Read more →

The Spring 2012 Edition of “At the Core”

The end of the 2012 Nebraska legislative session finished with a flurry of activity on prenatal care, child welfare, and a number of Appleseed’s priority bills passing. You can read about these successes and other recent efforts in the latest edition of our bi-annual newsletter “At the Core.” Download a printable copy of “At the Core” Inside you can read… Read more →

The Day is Here: Challenging Restrictive Behavioral Health Policies

All Nebraska children should have the support they need to be healthy and productive as they grow up. Early behavioral health services are proven to be most effective for children, save money, and are required by Medicaid under federal law. On Friday, Nebraska Appleseed, with our partners at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), filed a class action lawsuit against… Read more →

Lawsuit Filed to Protect the Rights of Nebraska Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Today, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a class action lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court against two officers of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on behalf of two children who have been denied necessary behavioral health treatment recommended by their doctors. The suit challenges an HHS Medicaid policy that excludes certain… Read more →

The ACA – Putting Money Back in Our Pockets

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people are expected to receive checks from their insurance companies this year. Kaiser Health News estimates that insurance companies will be sending $1.3 billion back to consumers under a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance carriers to spend 80-85% of premium dollars on actual health care costs rather than administrative… Read more →

Access to Health Care Is Becoming More Problematic

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a report that measured state-level changes in access to health care between 2000 and 2010. The report looks at the likelihood of having unmet medical needs due to cost, the likelihood of receiving a routine checkup, and receiving a dental visit, and it found that there had been a deterioration in access to care… Read more →

Honoring Senator Kathy Campbell

Save the Date! Nebraska Appleseed’s 2012 Good Apple Awards Thursday, October 4, 2012 Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S. 30th Street Omaha, NE Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres: 6pm Program & ceremony: 7pm honoring Senator Kathy Campbell Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award This year, Appleseed is proud to recognize Senator Kathy Campbell with the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award for her… Read more →

Remaining Uninsured

A new study released on April 19, by the Commonwealth Fund underscores the necessity of having insurance, and the difficulties of navigating the individual market: Approximately one-quarter of adults between the ages of 19 and 64 experienced a significant gap in their health insurance coverage in 2011, and compared to those who had continuous coverage, they were less likely to have… 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 →

Political Rhetoric Obscures Rational Dialogue on the Affordable Care Act and Its Benefits for Children

Originally posted by our friends at The Juvenile Law Center The historic legal arguments for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have concluded. The future of the ACA now rests in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. Tragically, the legal and political wrangling over the Act’s provisions has largely obscured the desperately needed benefits… 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 →

Day 3 (Wednesday): Can the Court Uphold or Strike Down Only Part of the ACA and Is Medicaid Expansion Unconstitutional?

Wednesday was the third and final day of arguments at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act.  There were two main questions: If the Court were to find the individual responsibility provision (which was the focus of Tuesday’s arguments) unconstitutional, does that mean the entire ACA law must be struck down or does it mean only the individual responsibility… Read more →

Day 2 (Tuesday): Is the Individual Responsibility Provision Unconstitutional?

Our apologies for not getting this post up sooner, but as you can see, it’s been busy around here! As you’ll recall, challengers of the Affordable Care Act are claiming that the federal government does not have the power to require people to purchase health insurance. Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this question. (You can hear the… Read more →

Day 1 (Monday): Should This Case Be Considered Later?

Yesterday was the first day of arguments at the Supreme Court on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act.  (The transcript and audio recording are available.) Monday’s argument involved the question of whether the Supreme Court could even rule on the case at this point.  There is a federal law called the Anti-Injunction Act which says you can’t challenge a “tax” until… Read more →

And So It Begins…

On Monday, March 26, the United States Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. This case is one of the most important to be heard in recent memory, and the Supreme Court has set aside an unprecedented amount of time over three days for arguments on… Read more →

Happy Birthday, ACA!

Two years ago today, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, representing a significant step toward health care reform. The purpose of the ACA was to make healthcare accessible and affordable for the millions of Americans without health insurance, and many Nebraskans are already benefitting from the reform measures that have gone into effect… 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 →

5 Ways Health Reform Helps Address Disparities

This list comes from our friends at The National Health Law Program – securing health rights for those in need. 1. ALREADY IN PLACE: Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, and disability The ACA extended the nondiscrimination protections of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Age Discrimination Act… Read more →

A Father’s Perspective on Prenatal Care for All

My name is Brian Schnieder, and I’m part of the ambassador family for the March of Dimes in Omaha, Nebraska.  Seven years ago, my son Jackson was born prior to twenty-five weeks. My wife had a medical condition that was undetected until she was further along in her pregnancy.  He was born weighing one pound, one ounce, and was small… 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 →

LB 1063 Aims to Fill Medicaid Gaps & Help Parents Keep Their Kids

The state’s child welfare system is in great need of reform. A vital piece of ensuring reform is effective is to prevent children from entering the system unnecessarily. LB 1063 is intended to address gaps in Medicaid services for children, which needlessly push children into the system to obtain the mental health services they need. Indeed, LB 1063 makes certain the Medicaid program plays its… Read more →

Appleseed Welcomes New Intake Coordinator Trisha Thompson

It all began when Trisha Thompson landed an internship here at Nebraska Appleseed. “I started interning on the intake line at Appleseed last summer and pretty much fell in love with it,” said Trisha. After graduating with her B.S. in psychology from Peru State College, Trisha is happy to be officially on board at Appleseed serving as our new Intake… 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 →

Improve Service Delivery and Efficiency in the Department of Health & Human Services

On February 1, the Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 1041 and LB 1016. Both of these bills are intended to address problems with the ACCESS Nebraska system. Appleseed supports both of these bills. LB 1041 would streamline HHS systems to make them more efficient and effective for everyone. LB 1016 would provide resources to community… Read more →

HHS Budget Should Invest in Children and Families

On Monday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director testified at the Appropriations Committee in response to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services’ appropriation request.  Appleseed believes that DHHS’s budget must invest in and protect low-income children and families’ needs. [DDET Appleseed Testimony] Senator Lavon Heidemann Chair, Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 1004 Lincoln, NE 68509 Re: Agency 25, Department of… Read more →

Nebraska Can’t Afford LB970’s Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director Becky Gould testified at the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee in opposition to LB970.  The bill would cut state income taxes and corporate taxes in Nebraska.  The bill would significantly decrease revenue to the state’s general fund and hinder the state’s ability to invest in the future – a strong child welfare system serving vulnerable children and… Read more →

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… Read more →

Health Reform Victory Reinforces Need to Continue Implementation

On Thursday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is the comprehensive health reform law signed into law by President Obama in March 2010.  The 2-1 Court of Appeals decision joins dozens of other lawsuits challenging the ACA that have been dismissed because either they found… Read more →

Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

This summer, I met up with Omaha graphic designer Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory to discuss an idea for an Appleseed art exhibit.  We’ve worked with Justin on a number of Appleseed projects – most recently our Voices from Fremont poster exhibit chronicling how residents witnessed a sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in Fremont since the town passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Justin’s work… Read more →

Step Up for Kids

Do the new census figures reflecting that one child in five in Nebraska struggles with poverty worry you? Have you followed recent child welfare system developments with concern? Do you think that access to prenatal care should be available to all who need it to protect the health of mothers and babies? The newspaper headlines in our state have been… Read more →

Health Insurance Exchange Legislation Must Go Forward

Reports indicate that Governor Heineman has decided that the state should wait to fully implement a state-based exchange until the United States Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is critical that the state pass enabling legislation during the next legislative session to allow the state to create a state-based health… Read more →

Yet Another Health Care Challenge Rejected

On Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed two constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), finding that both plaintiffs lacked the requisite standing to challenge the law.  Out of the other four other circuits have that have ruled on ACA challenges, only one other (the 11th Circuit) has decided (in a 2-1 opinion) that the individual responsibility… Read more →

Creators of Strong, Vibrant Communities: Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila

Nebraska Appleseed is honored to announce that Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila of Columbus, Nebraska, will be one of the inaugural recipients of the Roots of Justice Award. Karen and Maria truly embody the vision of this award. Unsung grassroots heroes, these two are quietly working to build important nonprofit infrastructure in rural Nebraska and to do their part to create strong,… 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 →

Building Nebraska’s Future: The D. Milo Mumgaard Young Leader Award

In 1996, Nebraska Appleseed’s founder Milo Mumgaard developed a vision for a public interest law firm that could take on the toughest issues facing low-income and marginalized Nebraskans.  He started small with a one person operation run out of his basement and through hard work, dedication and skill, grew the organization to twelve staff in eleven years.  Part of the… 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 →

Janet Goodman-Banks to Receive the Roots of Justice Award

Nebraska Appleseed is excited to announce that Pastor Janet Goodman-Banks of Lincoln will receive the inaugural Roots of Justice Award. Janet, a nurse and former coal miner, has been one of Appleseed’s strongest community allies in the historic push for comprehensive health reform.  Janet’s story of being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and struggling with her health insurer to… Read more →

Celebrating Nebraska’s Unsung Grassroots Heroes

Earlier this spring, a number of us at Appleseed got to talking about how fortunate we’ve been these past fifteen years to work alongside so many great community volunteers who push for a more just and equitable Nebraska. Many of our best community education and legislative efforts have succeeded in concert with grassroots volunteers all across our state – expanding… Read more →

Advocates Advance Principles for Governance & Oversight within a Nebraska Health Insurance Exchange

 As a follow-up to a report released in early June, eight Nebraska advocacy organizations representing consumer interests put forward a set of principles concerning governance and oversight within a Nebraska health insurance exchange.  These principles are designed to help guide the conversation that will take place among legislators and state officials in the coming months.The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires… Read more →

Report Examines How Health Reform is Helping Young, Rural Nebraskans

Our good friends at the Center for Rural Affairs released a report this week that examines how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will revive and sustain small towns, farms and ranches. As Nebraska gears up for implementing the final crucial pieces of the ACA, this report provides valuable information concerning Nebraska’s unique urban-rural makeup. The issues discussed in this report… Read more →

New Academic Research Shows Medicaid Good for Nebraskans and People Generally

Economists at Harvard and MIT recently examined the question of whether the expansion of Medicaid coverage under new health reform laws will translate into medical care that people need. The outcome? The results were encouraging, providing evidence that Medicaid does indeed make a very positive impact on the lives of recipients. Medicaid, a federal-state program for low-income and severely disabled… Read more →

Advocates Advance Principles for an Effective, High Quality Health Insurance Exchange in Nebraska

As Nebraska gears up for planning and creating a health insurance exchange as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), nine Nebraska advocacy organizations representing consumer interests put forward a set of principles designed to help guide the conversation that will take place among legislators and state officials in the coming months.  The Affordable Care Act requires… Read more →

Legislative Bill 465 and Lawful Permanent Residents

In April 2011, the Legislature passed LB 465. This new law changes eligibility for some public benefit programs for certain lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is an immigrant with a green card, who is legally admitted to the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis. Below is a Q&A to help you understand who is… 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 →

Health Reform Helping Small Businesses

One year ago on Wednesday, President Obama signed into law a historic package of health reforms that has already begun to improve the state of health care in Nebraska and all over the United States.  In honor of this momentous achievement, we will be blogging on some of the most notable aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act… Read more →

Happy Birthday to Nebraska Appleseed!

Today, Nebraska Appleseed celebrates its 15-year anniversary! Fifteen years ago, our founders incorporated Nebraska Appleseed with the mission that, like Johnny Appleseed, we would “sow the seeds of justice” across the Great Plains – advocating fairness, opportunity, and equal justice for all people. These core values continue to drive our staff, interns, volunteers and supporters to address systemic problems at… Read more →

Refusing to Play Politics with Nebraskans’ Health

Senate Republicans on Wednesday were unsuccessful in their attempt to repeal the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The repeal measure failed to receive the 60 votes it needed to pass, ultimately being defeated, 51 to 47.  Repealing health reform – and its vital consumer protections – would have a devastating effect on the thousands of Nebraskans who… 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 →

Johanns Wrong to Defund Vital Public Health Fund

Re-printed by permission of the writer, of Omaha, who is director of government relations for Nebraska at the American Cancer Society. First published as an OpEd in the Omaha World-Herald August 25, 2010. While undertaking a laudable effort to address the concerns of small businesses, U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns has jeopardized one of the key provisions of the Patient Protection… Read more →

Appleseed’s Summer Law Clerk Program

Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed’s law clerk program attracts some of the best and brightest public interest minded law students from Nebraska and across the country.  This summer was no exception.  We were fortunate to have eight students: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law, three from Creighton University Law School, one from the University of Iowa College of… Read more →

The Other Side of Reform

johnc@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. I’m fortunate to live in a… 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 →

Prenatal Care: The Conversation Continues

In March the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services decided to stop a decades old policy of providing prenatal care to all low-income women and over 1,600 women and unborn children lost access to prenatal care. A simple administrative fix is still available to remedy this change and Appleseed and others will continue to push for a… Read more →

Economic Independence and Access to Health Care Go Hand-in-Hand

For many years, Nebraska Appleseed has worked to protect access to health care for low-income families in our state. We continued to strive towards this goal recently in the Nebraska Supreme Court, by representing a class of over 400 low-income families that had lost Medicaid health care coverage. In the case of Davio v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human… 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 Reward of Working in Public Interest

I was recently asked by my law school alma mater (University of Nebraska College of Law) to reflect on my choice to pursue public interest law in Nebraska and how law school had prepared me for that task.  As I wrote out my answers, I realized how lucky I was to stumble upon Nebraska Appleseed almost nine years ago.  I… Read more →

Questions and Answers about Medicaid Coverage of Prenatal Care for Pregnant Women

For many years, Nebraska’s Medicaid program covered prenatal care for the unborn children of pregnant women, regardless of a woman’s immigration status. But, on March 1, many unborn children of pregnant women lost prenatal care covered by Medicaid. Since this changed happened there seems to be confusion about what services Medicaid will continue to cover. At Nebraska Appleseed, we are… 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 →

Finish The Job – The Need For Reform Remains Unchanged

(originally posted at New Nebraska Network) This past week has been full of speculation about the future of health care reform which has been frustrating for health care reform advocates.  Many of us have worked tirelessly this past year to make comprehensive health care reform a reality, coming further than any previous generation.  The recent shift in the Senate should… Read more →

Finishing Reform Right

This week, Congress is negotiating the final health care reform bill that will make critical improvements to our broken health care system.  This is great news for the 224,000 Nebraskans – 45,000 of them children – who lack coverage today, and the thousands who struggle to afford their current coverage.  But for health care reform to be most successful, it… Read more →

Kitchen Tables

I love Thanksgiving.  My Dad (my favorite farmer) cooks for us, and this year, I have not one but two beautiful nieces to giggle with at the table.  This is what valuing family means to me.  I am grateful for a good meal, for family, and even for the baby drool and stuffing that will inevitably end up on my… 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 →

Moving One Step Closer to Health Insurance Reform

This week we move closer than ever before to enact comprehensive health insurance reform legislation. For months we have been talking about health reform. It has been a long process, but an end is soon approaching. On Saturday, November 7, the House of Representatives passed its version of health reform legislation. The House bill will create a health insurance system… 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 →

State Fair Stories

I spent last Sunday helping to staff the Health Care Reform booth at the Nebraska State Fair.  Amid the Mexican cigars, infra-red spas and the only glue you’ll ever need, I stood with information from the American Cancer Society, AARP and Nebraska Appleseed ready to educate the passing fair-goers and advocate for health care reform.  I had braced myself for… 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 →

Health Care Reform – What’s in it for me?

It goes without saying that meaningful health care reform is essential to provide coverage for the tens of millions currently uninsured. But what do the reform bills currently moving through Congress do for the far greater number of people who already have insurance? Insured Americans are already bearing a huge burden of out-of-pocket costs that are growing much faster than… 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 →

Trust Movement: Health Care Reform in Action

A not so famous, but entirely important psychologist, Alfred Adler once said, “Trust movement. Life happens at the level of events, not words. Trust movement.” I was reminded of these words as I stood on top of Upper Senate Park last week and looked over the thousands of people standing in the blistering sun rallying for health care. Admittedly, I… 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 →

Continue to Shine a Spotlight on Children’s Behavioral Health Needs

Last fall, 36 children, most of them teenagers and pre-teens, were dropped off under Nebraska’s broad safe haven law.  In November, the Nebraska Legislature went into special session and limited the law to infants up to 30 days old.  However, the crisis that was exposed by the safe haven law – the older children in our community with unmet behavioral… Read more →