Gov. Dave Heineman contends a filibuster against Medicaid expansion held, because Nebraskans don’t support it.
Heineman expects supporters of Medicaid expansion to try again next year, but he doesn’t see a different result.
“I don’t see a change in the landscape out there,” Heineman tells Jack and Dave in the Morning on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “I know how Nebraskans feel. They’re opposed to it. And, as long as Nebraskans are opposed to it, I just don’t think the legislature will enact that legislation.”
Heineman calls the legislative debate on LB 887 robust, vigorous, and very good.
The bill proposed expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the federal health insurance law. It would have covered an estimated 54,000 Nebraskans who do not qualify for the state Medicaid program, but cannot afford to buy private coverage.
Supporters could not overcome a filibuster against the bill. A similar bill died of a similar fate last year.
Heineman opposes expansion, saying it would cost too much.
Expansion is estimated to cost the state $61 million over the next six years. The federal government promises to pay the total cost of expansion the first three years and 90% thereafter.
Heineman still questions whether the federal government will fulfill its promise.
“The federal government’s broke. They’re $17 trillion in debt. They’re not going to come through with their partnership and when they don’t that just puts it more on the backs of our taxpayers.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]