Nebraska Farmers Union president John Hansen says the law met a need in agricultural communities.
“We have to remember where we started here,” Hansen tells Ken Anderson with Brownfield Ag News, “The economic impact of major medical events for folks in rural Nebraska who either couldn’t afford health insurance or, in a lot of cases, were not eligible for health insurance by virtue of a pre-existing condition was the number one reason for farm bankruptcies.”
Hansen does say the Affordable Care Act remains a work in progress.
He says he wishes the focus of the state’s politicians would be how to improve the law, rather than partisan opposition to it.
“I wish that the focus of our elected public officials was on how to make it work better rather than just take hard political lines and polarize it and politicize it,” Hansen says.
On the state level, Nebraska Farmers Union supports the expansion of Medicaid, which opponents have successfully prevented from moving forward in the Unicameral.
Hansen says rural Nebraska would benefit the most from Medicaid expansion, which he says is fiscally sound for the state.
“If we want to lower our property taxes, we need to look at where we can tighten our belt at the state level and when you can come up with a 90% federal cost share and reduce our total expenditures as well as doing right by our neighbors, it looks like Medicaid expansion is not only the right thing to do, but it’s the fiscally sound thing to do,” according to Hansen.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this report.