Supporters of Medicaid Expansion told a joint Legislative hearing Friday that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS) needs to implement voter approved Medicaid Expansion more quickly. Last November, voters approved a ballot measure for expansion. DHHS says it won’t be able to implement expansion until October, 2020.
DHHS did not appear at the hearing, but instead sent a letter explaining their progress.
Senator John Stinner of Scottsbluff read from the letter submitted by the DHHS, which said that work to implement Medicaid Expansion was underway and on schedule. The DHHS letter said their next step will be public hearings in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Norfolk and Omaha.
Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said the two year delay in implementing the ballot measure is unacceptable. Morfeld accused the Ricketts administration of lying, and accused the governor of purposely stalling the expansion and breaking the law.
“When you have a legislature that’s unwilling to act, and then you have an administration that is willfully violating the law, not implementing the law as passed by the people, it’s tough to know what to do…” said Morfeld. “This is despicable in the fact that [DHHS] isn’t here today, and the fact that they continue to bungle this either on purpose or because of incompetence is unacceptable.”
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