The Health and Human Services Committee of the Nebraska Legislature held a hearing for LR 241, which gave the committee a chance to hear about various Medicaid expansion programs in Arkansas, Iowa, and Michigan.
The push continues
Sen. Campbell and other proponents in the unicameral are going to keep pushing Obamacare onto Nebraskans. Medicaid expansion is Obamacare. The proponents are going to try and make it more acceptable to the senators in opposition, as was done in Arkansas.
Medicaid expansion in Arkansas was sold as a “free-market” and “private”. It is not free-market or private and will ultimately cost the state more than regular expansion as highlighted in our policy paper.
Takeaway: watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The origin of the “coverage gap” is misunderstood
A growing argument that expansion advocates are using is that people are falling into a coverage gap if Nebraska doesn’t expand Medicaid, because people below 133% of the federal poverty line won’t qualify for subsidies (i.e. tax dollars) and won’t qualify for the state’s Medicaid program. You’ll hear, for example, “I’m too poor for Obamacare and too rich for Medicaid”. The Omaha World Herald starts their coverage with this point.
What is missed is that the coverage gap is created by Obamacare. The gap exists because Obamacare created it with the subsidy structure. The authors of the law assumed that all states would expand Medicaid because, as originally written, they would lose all Medicaid funding if they didn’t. Nebraska shouldn’t fix President Obama’s unconstitutional mess.
An overlooked issue with the “gap” is that Obamacare has made health insurance too expensive for people to purchase. The essential benefits, community rating changes, etc. have made premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket costs sky rocket for the average Nebraskan.
Takeaway: the “coverage gap” is another example of how Obamacare negatively affects people’s lives.
In summary: Medicaid doesn’t lead to greater wellness for those in the program and expansion takes tax dollars away from those who truly need the help. Obamacare advocates will continue to push for it at the expense of Nebraskans by various means.
*Keep up-to-date on the session and other legislative news with AFP-NE here.