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Senator Tom Brewer
The Nebraska Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit against the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative this week. The petition collected enough signatures, so the “question” will go on this November’s ballot. Over 104,000 signatures were collected overall. In the 13 counties of my Legislative District very few signatures were part of this number. Obviously, this kind of math makes my decision to not support the measure pretty simple.
Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare) is a very bad idea for Nebraska. It is unfair, unsustainable and un-affordable. It will hurt people, and wreck the State’s budget.
Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare) is unfair. It hurts our most vulnerable by crowding them out of the market of available doctors. The federal government reimburses doctors for patients on the “old” version of Medicaid 53%. The remainder is made up by the State. The federal government reimburses doctors for patients on the new “expanded” Medicaid 90%. The number of doctors who take Medicaid at all is rapidly falling. Medicaid patients cost doctors more because the program pays less than traditional health insurance. Of those who do accept Medicaid patients right now, many will stop rather than face a new wave of Medicaid patients. Having a Medicaid card in your wallet does not mean you’ll be able to actually receive any healthcare.
Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare) is unsustainable. Our country has a $21 trillion fiscal operating debt. We’re adding about $1 trillion to that every year. One day, and I pray that’s soon, the Feds are going to wake up and finally put a halt to this suicidal fiscal insanity. The argument you’ll hear that we’re “missing out” and leaving federal dollars we could have just sitting there is laughable. It’s like bribing you with your own money. The federal tax dollars are paid by ALL of us. When the federal money dries up, where does that leave Nebraska, now addicted to hundreds of millions of dollars in spending for a program the feds no longer support?
Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare) is un-affordable. The annual cost of Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare) is estimated to be $45 million on the low end. In every state that has implemented this, the growth in spending for this program has been at least 50% higher than originally estimated meaning the truth will probably be closer to $90 million just to start with. Put aside for a moment the fact this massive new spending program will put 1 in 5 Nebraskans on welfare, where will this money come from?
We are under a federal court order to correct serious problems in our prisons or start turning inmates lose. We have K-12 schools, colleges, and university to pay for. We need roads and bridges. Almost $2 out of every $3 in our $4.5 billion state budget already goes to a very long list of social programs and the agencies who administer them. Our citizens are being crushed by punishing property taxes. Which one of these items do we cut to pay for Obamacare? Which tax do we raise to pay for this? How many citizens and businesses will flee our high-tax state as a result?
The success of a government welfare program should be measured by the number of people who no longer need it, not by how many more people we can get signed up for it. Medicaid is already spread too thin. Adding a whole new population of able-bodied adults to this program makes it much worse and hurts the very people who really need it. Ronald Reagan said the best social program in the world is a job. Instead of more taxes and more welfare programs, we need to lower taxes, attract business and create good paying jobs in Nebraska that come with healthcare benefits.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call. Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.