A Nebraska group has yet to decide whether it will launch a formal campaign against expanding Medicaid, should the issue qualify for the November ballot as expected.
Americans For Prosperity Nebraska State Director, Jessica Shelburn, says at present the group is only mounting an educational campaign.
“We’re looking at all of our options on if we want to wade into that battle and try to lodge a campaign against it,” Shelburn tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Shelburn says Nebraska needs to learn from the experience of states which have expanded Medicaid under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
She points in particular to Ohio, which projected approximately 365,000 would enroll once it expanded Medicaid. Instead, the state has enrolled more than 700,000. Shelburn says that’s a steep cost increase, even if the federal government is covering most of the cost.
“When we’re talking about 90% is going to be paid by the federal government, keep in mind the state is coming up with 10% on top of what they were already paying for the existing Medicaid,” Shelburn says.
Nebraska lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA as both Gov. Dave Heineman and Gov. Pete Ricketts held firm against expansion.
Ricketts continues to oppose expansion, though he has stated he has no plans to get involved in the campaign. The governor does question expanding Medicaid to the able-bodied, something it initially was not designed to do.
Supporters of expansion have submitted more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. The Secretary of States’ office is reviewing the signatures to verify whether there are enough registered voters to qualify for ballot status.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]