Heineman: Medicaid Expansion Too Expensive

By: Channel 6 News / Associated Press Email
By: Channel 6 News / Associated Press Email

Too much expense with too little money to pay for it -- that's one way of summarizing Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman's position on whether the state should expand Medicaid. The expansion would be possible under the new Federal health care law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a news release Wednesday, Heineman made it clear to state lawmakers he will not move in that direction. The Governor said expanding Medicaid as called for under the new Federal rules would force a reduction in state aid to local school districts or an increase in taxes.

The Republican governor took aim at a scheduled health-exchange planning session organized by a Democratic lawmaker, calling it an "organizational meeting" of advocates who want to expand Medicaid.

In the Supreme Court's ruling last month it upheld the part of the health care law that requires states to create health benefit exchanges to help insure more people.

But the court also ruled that the federal government cannot penalize states that opt out of a Medicaid expansion which is also outlined in the law. In effect, that makes participation voluntary for each state and several have already indicated they will not go that route because of the expense.

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