UPDATE: Nebraska lawmakers worry about looming cost of health ca - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Nebraska lawmakers worry about looming cost of health care reform


The Affordable Health Care Act, which don't take effect until next January, is already looming over the heads of Nebraska lawmakers.

Several Siouxland senators say they are most concerned with the economic health of the state, but it's the health of the poorest in Nebraska, that could take center stage.

A provision in the Affordable Health Care Act to require states to expand medicaid was shot down by the Supreme Court, but the federal government is still hoping to entice states. Sen. Paul Schumacher, Columbus, NE says, "I think the state has got a big incentive from the federal government to do it."

Starting next January, Washington will cover the cost. But, states that opt in will eventually have to start paying part of the tab. Sen. Tyson Larson, O'Neill, NE says, "Our congressmen and senators in Washington at any time could drop that 90% to 50%."

While some Nebraska lawmakers say the state has a moral obligation to deliver health care to its citizens, the potential cost-- hundreds of millions of dollars-- has left Siouxland senators wary. Sen. Jim Scheer, Norfolk, NE says, "It's not really an end-all to a lot of the problems in health care." Sen. Dave Bloomfield, Hoskins, NE says, "When that much money gets thrown into the mix, it's a bull in a china closet."

State Senator Lydia Brasch sits on the state's revenue committee. Sen. Lydia Brasch, Bancroft, NE says, "That will affect funding in all areas, whether it's education, transportation, roads."

Governor Dave Heineman, who will deliver his state of the state address next Tuesday, has said that Nebraska can't afford to expand Medicaid.

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