NEBRASKA. – The following is an opinion editorial article written in response to the opposition of Medicaid expansion:
“Recently, some of our colleagues in the Nebraska Legislature wrote an op-ed in opposition to Medicaid Expansion. Their decision to oppose expansion over the last seven years has left our friends, family and neighbors dying, suffering, and going bankrupt without affordable healthcare, and it has hurt our economy too. Studies have shown that Medicaid expansion would bring nearly $600 million of our tax dollars back to Nebraska every year – funds that would create nearly 11,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in economic activity.
They make the same arguments they have used to leave $3 billion of our taxpayer dollars in Washington D.C. over the last seven years – money that is being sent to 33 other states that have already expanded Medicaid.
Their inaction and lack of any alternative solutions to provide Nebraskans affordable healthcare is what led more than 130,000 Nebraskans to go to the ballot and demand action.
The facts are this: Right now 90,000 working Nebraskans lack affordable healthcare. They don’t receive preventative care, their conditions get worse, and they end up in our emergency rooms and hospitals, which is the most expensive way to deliver care. They often can’t afford to pay the bill, passing those costs along to all of us in the form of higher taxes and higher health insurance premiums. Expanding Medicaid would put a stop to that and save more than $300 million a year in uncompensated care costs.
As a result of the large influx of federal funds, Medicaid Expansion will pay for the state’s investment through greater tax revenues generated by economic growth, reduced bankruptcies, and by eliminating entire state programs that will no longer be necessary.
Those same legislative colleagues that oppose Medicaid Expansion claim that expanding Medicaid will cut critical programs and institutions. That’s a false choice created by state senators who have long advocated for cuts in those programs anyway. Multiple economists have found that expanding Medicaid easily pays for itself, creates thousands of jobs and helps keep rural and urban hospitals open that could otherwise close.
The choice before voters this year is simple. We can choose to bring our tax money home from Washington, D.C. to help families get health care and boost our economy or we can continue to watch our money go to 33 other states to help their people and their economy instead.
In November vote FOR Initiative 427. It’s the right thing to do for our friends, families, neighbors and state.”
Senator Adam Morfeld
Senator Anna Wishart
Senator Justin Wayne
Senator Kate Bolz
Senator Carol Blood
Senator Sara Howard
Senator Lynne Walz
Senator John McCollister
Senator Tony Vargas
Senator Patty Pansing Brooks
Senator Sue Crawford
Senator Matt Hansen
Senator Mike McDonnell
Senator Dan Quick
Senator Bob Krist
Senator Rick Kolowski
Senator Roy Baker