A state petition drive claims it’s on track to collect enough signatures to put a Medicaid expansion measure on the November ballot. Campaign manager for Insure the Good Life, Megan Mandy, says Medicaid expansion will help Nebraskan’s who struggle to find coverage.
“They’re mostly parents who have kids and don’t have access to healthcare insurance through their employer,” says Mandy, “There’s 90,000 of them that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough money to qualify for subsidies through the affordable care act.”
Around 85,000 signatures will be needed by July 5th for the measure to get on the November ballot. Mandy is confident her group will get the signatures needed and adds the campaign already passed the minimum signatures for Lancaster and Douglas Counties; the two largest counties in the First and Second Congressional Districts. Now, she says volunteers are focusing their efforts in rural areas in the Third Congressional District.
Medicaid expansion has been debated for years in the Unicameral, but has failed to pass. Legislators have given various reasons for rejecting expansion, such as budgetary concerns. Mandy says a ballot measure will let Nebraska voters decide for themselves whether they want Medicaid expanded under the terms of the Affordable Care Act.
For now, Mandy says the campaign is focused on gathering signatures, but notes if the drive is successful, the organization may look to coordinate with like-minded campaigns before midterm elections to further bring attention to the issue.
“Once we do that, you know, it will be July and we’ll be able to talk a little more to candidates,” says Mandy.