September 2, 2014

Gov. Heineman says state will wait on health insurance exchange (AUDIO)

Gov. Dave Heineman insists Nebraska won’t default to the federal government in creating a state health insurance exchange, but the governor tells Nebraska Radio Network he wants to wait until the legal status of the federal health care law is determined.

In his State of the State address, Heineman declared that the state is moving forward with planning and designing a state health insurance exchange. He stated the state has worked hard for the past two years on that portion of the federal health care overhaul. Heineman asserted “…Nebraska will not default to the federal government regarding a health insurance exchange.”

Heineman, during an interview with Nebraska Radio Network, addresses criticism about waiting to create the exchange. He says it doesn’t make sense to move forward now.

“I think anybody with a little common sense wouldn’t make a major decision about this knowing that within 90 days of that decision, the United States Supreme Court could rule it unconstitutional,” Heineman says. “I’m saying; just use a little common sense here.”

The state has run on two-tracks regarding the federal healthcare law. It has been working to implement the mandates of the law even as it has joined with 25 other states to challenge its constitutionality.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to the 2010 healthcare law during oral arguments in March. A decision could be handed down by the court in late June.

Heineman tells us that doing anything more than planning could prove to be a waste of time if the Obama Administration loses in court.

“So, I just say, ‘Hey, let’s wait for the decision, but let’s don’t us make a major decision till we know how the court has acted,’” Heineman says.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]

AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Gov. Heineman on a state healthcare exchange [2:20]