Bryan Baumgart-Chairman, Douglas County Republican Party
State Senator Kathy Campbell of Lincoln is back with last year’s pig, but this year she’s put lipstick on it!
Last year, Nebraska patriots successfully fought Campbell’s Obamacare Bill, LB577 which sought to expand Medicaid as prescribed under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). The Douglas County Republican Party passed a resolution opposing the Expansion of Medicaid in Nebraska. Fortunately the bill stalled under a filibuster and Governor Heineman’s veto promise.
This year Campbell is back with a dressed up version of last year’s disaster. The new bill, LB887 still looks to push Obamacare on Nebraska, but with a catchy new name. Campbell has dubbed her bill “WIN”, or “Wellness in Nebraska”. Apparently she believes Nebraskans are gullible. Whether it’s called the “Affordable Care Act” or “Wellness in Nebraska”…it’s still the same failed monstrosity that Nebraskans can’t afford.
Of course Campbell’s bill is once again backed by some of Nebraska’s most vocal supporters of government expansion. Senators Nordquist, Howard, and Crawford have already eagerly signed on to the bill, while many of last year’s supporters are waiting to see just how heated the opposition is going to get before making the same mistake twice. My sources tell me this bill could hinge on Senator Bob Krist of Omaha. Senator Krist is a Republican up for reelection this fall. I encourage you to give Senator Krist a call at (402) 471-2718 and urge him to oppose LB887, a bill no true conservative could support. Contact information for Nebraska State Senators can be found here.
Under LB887, people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level would be covered by taxpayers with coverage under the WIN marketplace, or Medicaid for those below the federal poverty level. Those with incomes between 50 percent and 100 percent of the federal poverty level would be required to contribute 2 percent of their incomes with taxpayers covering the rest. The 2 percent contribution would be waived for anyone who obtains an annual physical exam and a health risk assessment.
Supporters suggest Nebraska take advantage of the federal government’s promise to cover the expansion of the Medicaid program until 2016, in which federal contributions would then drop to 90% by 2022. The President also promised Americans that they could keep their health insurance if they liked it. That promise was voted Politifacts 2013 Lie of the Year. Nebraskan’s don’t fall for the same trick twice, just ask Ben Nelson!
The federal government is currently more than $17 trillion dollars in debt. This means each dollar Nebraska receives from the federal government is borrowed against our children’s futures, and will eventually have to be repaid with interest by American taxpayers. Last time I checked Nebraska was still in America.
Decades ago, the federal government promised to fund 40 percent of special education. That promise was not kept and taxpayers are left to pick up the tab. If the federal government fails once again to keep its promise, the financial burden falls again onto the backs of hardworking Nebraskans. A study by the Platte Institute reveals that in the states that chose to expand Medicaid, the costs were higher than projected while the numbers of uninsured cases were not dramatically reduced. Given the financial state as well as the track record of our federal government, this is not a risk worth taking for Nebraska taxpayers. Nebraskan’s could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars which means reduced funding for education and/or tax increases.
Supporters claim that taxpayers are already on the hook when the uninsured visit emergency rooms for care. However, a new study reveals that people enrolled recently in Medicaid went to emergency rooms 40 percent more frequently than others, often seeking help for conditions that could be treated less expensively in a doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic.
Medicaid abuse is just one negative side effect. On Tuesday, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced his Medicaid Fraud Unit has recovered more than $77 million since 2004 and $13.5 million in 2013 alone. Combine the fraud and abuse with other factors such as lack of doctors in rural Nebraska and Medicaid expansion just doesn’t add up.
Americans are now witnessing Obamacare fail on every level. From the fumbled website launch to a lack of enrollees as well as numerous delays and executive orders just prolonging the inevitable death of a law that was passed without reading. A law that was promised not to be a tax, yet ruled by the Supreme Court to be the largest tax increase in U.S. history.
Nebraskans should be thankful for Governor Heineman’s common sense decision not to bring Obamacare to Nebraska by creating a state exchange. Now we must contact our representatives and ask them to keep Obamacare out of the state by opposing LB887. Simply put…expanding Medicaid means Obamacare stays in Nebraska permanently. Do you know where your State Senator stands? Call them NOW, and ask them to oppose LB887 before it’s too late.