Controlled Chaos and Medicaid Expansion

Controlled Chaos

Session is in full swing. While the consistency of the public hearing schedule and the daily agenda is ever-present, variety is in store as the Capitol is a buzz every day with different interests, press conferences, and lunch and learns.

Press Round Up

  • Don Walton’s write up offers a quick synopsis of an array of political topics including filibusters, Ben Sasse’s Twitter account, and the latest in the “Governor greeting the President” controversy.
  • On the topic of filibusters – here are a two articles for you to catch up on the gun debate set to resume Monday January 25th: Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald.
  • Learn more about Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services testifying against a coalition member priority LB 690, the bill that would remove the barrier for individuals with drug felonies to access SNAP benefits.
  • Live Well Omaha’s story highlights political posturing on the new Transitional Health Insurance Program (T-HIP).
  • Statewide reach – check out this Star Herald story highlighting Nebraska Appleseed’s outreach work on T-HIP.
  • The LJS general coverage of T-HIP last week had a fiscal focus.
  • The LJS editorial last week urges for a fresh look at the new Medicaid Expansion proposal.

On Medicaid Expansion

The Transitional Health Insurance Program (T-HIP), 2016’s policy push to expand healthcare access to 77,000 Nebraskans, was presented by proponents at a Senator-led press conference on Tuesday 1/19. At the conference, well-studied Senators detailed the fiscal, health, and economic elements of the policy. Supporters, including several CSN members organized a broader press conference/rally in the rotunda later that same morning.

The opposition to the new healthcare proposal held a “dueling” press conference reiterating continued resistance to the plan, despite its sharp contrast to past Medicaid expansion proposals. Fun fact for those of you who have not been directly engaged in this battle…the introducing Senator of LB 1032, Medicaid expansion re-vamped, is also the previous Executive Director of the Platte Institute (leading “think-tank” opposition).

This certainly must feel like a never-ending journey for justice for some of you, rest assured this is a path we know many have travelled. On that note… I leave you with this seemingly appropriate quote that has been re-routed from a friend:

“The only fights worth fighting are those you’re going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins.” – I.F. Stone

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