Governor Heineman has been hearing a lot from a lot of people about how Nebraska should proceed in creation of a Health Insurance Exchange under provisions of the federal healthcare law and Nebraskans have two more chances to express their opinion.
Heineman presided over two public hearings in Lincoln last week, hearing first from special-interest groups and health care professionals, and then hearing from those in the insurance industry.
Insurance executives, including Coventry CEO Mike Nelson, advocated for a state-run health insurance exchange to give Nebraska as much control as possible. Nelson worried about allowing the federal government to control it, even if that meant the federal government picking up the tab.
“It’s almost like you’re going to pay for 90% of the check, but they get to order for you. So, that would be our concern,” Nelson stated.
But, Governor Heineman remained skeptical.
“I just want you to know, I think we’ll be lucky if they pay their 90%,” Heineman replied.
Heineman has often voiced doubt that the federal government will actually fulfill the financial promises made in the federal healthcare law.
During the hearing with insurance representatives, doubt surfaced about whether everything will be ready for full implementation of the federal health care law on January 1st of 2014. Congress left much of the details of the law to be hammered out by the administration, particularly by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The insurance representatives said little detail has been forthcoming from Washington.
The federal law requires the states to create their Health Insurance Exchanges by October of next year.
A public hearing will be held this evening at the Omaha Ramada Plaza, beginning at 6pm. The final public meeting will be held Wednesday, September 12th, at the Marina Inn Conference Center in South Sioux City, beginning at 6pm as well.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:43]