Gov. Dave Heineman says the Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care overhaul will have a direct impact on Nebraska.
Heineman insists that if the Supreme Court allows the federal health care law to stand, it will be a disaster for the state and the country.
“And I say that because it’s going to raise taxes, it’s going to cut Medicare and it contains an enormous, unfunded Medicaid mandate,” Heineman tells reporters in a conference call.
Heineman estimates the state will have to pay an extra $500 to $600 million in Medicaid costs if the health care law stands. Around 287,000 Nebraskans, about 15% of the population, are enrolled in the state Medicaid program. The federal health care law could add up to 145,000 more state residents to the program over the next decade.
The governor declines to predict how the Supreme Court will rule. The state of Nebraska has postponed establishing health care exchanges until the court rules.
Heineman supports some provisions of the law, but says it missed the main aspect of the issue.
“There are good parts of the law, but the overall bill did not focus enough on the cost of healthcare, “according to Heineman.
The governor says he supports provisions that would not allow insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition. He also supports allowing children to remain on their parent’s health insurance policy until the age of 26.
The Supreme Court is in the middle of three days of oral arguments on the law’s constitutionality.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]