Gov. Heineman says Nebraska will plan to implement the federal health care law, even as it hopes the courts rule it unconstitutional.
Nebraska has applied for federal grants to offset the cost of planning.
“Until the United States Supreme Court rules on this new federal health care law we’re not going to do anything relative to the implementation of Obamacare,” Heineman tells reporters.
Heineman breaks implementation down into three stages: planning, designing and building. He says the state is willing to plan and design a structure to implement the law, but not move ahead any further until the Supreme Court rules on the law’s constitutionality. If states fail to plan, the federal government could take over implementation.
The governor says Nebraska won’t implement the law until the United States Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality.
“If the court were to rule it’s unconstitutional, then obviously adjustments will need to be made,” according to Heineman. “If it says it’s constitutional, then we’ll proceed forward.”
Heineman claims the federal health care law would cost the state dearly, increasing the cost of Medicaid $450 to $650 million.
Nebraska has joined 25 other states in challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law. The United States Supreme Court is expected to take the case this term. It could rule by next summer.