August 1, 2014

CATO Official urges Nebraska to bail out of healthcare law (AUDIO)

Michael Tanner with CATO Institute speaks to reporters at Capitol news conference.

A healthcare expert with the CATO Institute claimed today it would be a mistake for Nebraska to comply with the federal healthcare law passed in 2010.

Michael Tanner with the Washington-based conservative think-tank told a news conference held at the state Capitol that Nebraska should resist pressure to form its own health insurance exchange and to expand Medicaid under provisions of the law.

Tanner went as far as to claim it would be a “tremendous mistake” for Nebraska to set up a health insurance exchange of its own.

“I know the general belief is that it is better for the state to set up and operate an exchange rather than let the federal government come in and set one up and operate it for you,” Tanner remarked during the news conference. “The reality, however, is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gives the federal government veto power over everything that you do in setting up your exchange.”

Tanner advocated, instead, that Nebraska allow the federal government to set up the exchange and pick up the tab. He also stated that the federal government’s promise to eventually pay 10% of the expansion of Medicaid would still cost the states, including Nebraska, tens of millions of dollars which they cannot afford.

Tanner speculated that if every state refused to expand Medicaid and would not establish a healthcare exchange, it would save $1.5 trillion.

AUDIO: Americans for Prosperity Capitol news conference featuring the CATO’s Michael Tanner. [10 min.]