Medicaid Expansion: It’s time to let voters decide.

 

By: Alejandra Escobar

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I was honored to join advocates from across the state to testify Feb. 21 in support of a state constitution amendment (LR281CA) to allow Nebraskans to vote in November on expanding Medicaid.

I have experienced the tough choices people face when they make too much to receive Medicaid and too little to afford health insurance -- leaving them without protection all together.

After my 19th birthday, I became one of the 90,000 Nebraskans living in the coverage gap. I could only hope I would not get sick or injured. This was entirely unrealistic. A week before finals, I got the flu. I was afraid to go to the doctor because I was told a visitation could cost me $400 or more, which I didn’t have. I spent my finals week in a terrible health situation.

For me, it was the flu. But for others without health coverage, the results can be catastrophic. I have friends who also work part-time while going to school who have stopped taking required medications because they could no longer afford them. No one should have to choose between the value of an education and their health and safety.

Medicaid expansion has been adopted by 33 states. Tens of thousands of hard-working Nebraskans have waited far too long for a legislative solution to the coverage gap. It’s time to let the voters decide. If your state senator is on the Health and Human Services Committee, please encourage them to advance LR281CA (you can find your state senator here).

Sen. Merv Riepe: mriepe@leg.ne.gov, 402-471-2623
Sen. Steve Erdman:  serdman@leg.ne.gov, 402-471-2616
Sen. Sue Crawford: scrawford@leg.ne.gov, 402-471-2615
Sen. Sara Howard: showard@leg.ne.gov,  402-471-2723
Sen. Mark Kolterman: mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, 402-471-2756
Sen. Lou Ann Linehan: llinehan@leg.ne.gov,  402-471-2885
Sen. Matt Williams: mwilliams@leg.ne.gov, 402-471- 2642

 
HWC Staff