Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Krist criticizes Governor Pete Ricketts for budget cuts to nursing homes.
“Gov. Pete Ricketts has placed Nebraska’s aging population at risk, because of his cuts to our skilled nursing and our assisted living facilities across the state,” Krist tells reporters during a news conference in Lincoln.
Krist is critical of budget cuts made the past two years which cut the rates paid to providers of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities by $58 million. He rejects the claim from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that the cuts didn’t negatively impact nursing homes. He says those cuts forced some nursing homes into receivership.
DHHS moved to place 21 nursing homes and 10 assisted living facilities under receivership earlier this year.
“The governor doesn’t get it, or he doesn’t care,” Krist says. “He issued a line-item veto that resulted in Medicaid provider rates cut across the board that directly impacted health care providers and the health care services of the most fragile senior population.”
Krist says the state needs to look at raising revenue, rather than cutting budgets. He advocates reviewing economic incentives and other avenues to raise the money needed to fund state services.
“I’m going to stop thinking inside the box,” according to Krist. “We have new revenue sources that are out there. We’ve discussed them before. LB 44 we should have discussed in great detail. We should have also discussed the actual property tax bills, the four of them, that should have come to the floor early on (in the legislative session).”
The property tax bills to which Krist refers proposed raising other taxes to offset property tax cuts. LB 44 proposed requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes.