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The session is over two-thirds done on this 63rd working day. We will soon begin evening debate as bills concerning the budget, the death penalty, minimum wage, prison reform and others remain on the agenda.
Last week was a surprisingly quick end to LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act. A committee amendment failed to pass on a vote of 22-24, signaling the intentions of the body. The bill was postponed on a bracket motion, essentially killing it for this year.
I can argue this issue from both sides. As a medical provider, I never turned anyone away due to their ability to pay. After spending some time researching the issue to make my decision more clear, I found there are more people who enroll in Medicaid than are projected in states that have adopted the program.
Two problems I have with expanded Medicaid are availability of providers and increasing state funds needed to make up differences in payments to providers. The bottom line is: Nebraska Medicaid spending is increasing at an unsustainable rate. We need to rein in the present system before expanding into a program that delivers even more generous benefits to more people.