Nelson: Report shows cost burden being placed on state government

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010 -- Today, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement after Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman released a study assessing the impact of the new health reform law's Medicaid costs to state government:

"While the intent of the report is to illustrate how much health care will cost state government, it actually illustrates how much of a burden health care costs are to Nebraska families. Without health reform, Nebraska families would be picking up the full costs of the uninsured rather than the State picking up 5% of the cost to insure them.

"This report doesn't make a case against health care reform. It makes the case for it.

"If health care costs to state government are a greater concern than the overall cost of health care to Nebraska consumers, then the state can save billions of dollars in both the state and federal budgets by opting out of Medicaid.

"I don't believe that's a solution to our health care problems. Nor do I believe the majority of Nebraskans will see it as a solution.

"Further, the Milliman, Inc. study released today is one of several on this issue. Earlier this year, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured analyzed the Medicaid coverage provisions in the health reform law for all 50 states, and estimated the costs to Nebraska would be much lower.

"The Kaiser Commission study found that Nebraska would put 50,364 to 71,053 previously uninsured individuals onto Medicaid. With the federal government paying 95 percent of the cost, the cost to the state of Nebraska, from 2014 through 2019, was estimated at an additional $106 to $155 million. While enrollment in Medicaid would increase between 36.2 and 47.8 percent, the state's costs will rise by only 1.5 to 2.2 percent.

"The bottom line is: It's important to realize that the costs of health care are already being paid by Nebraskans through higher medical expenses because of uncompensated care, higher insurance payments, and uninsured Nebraskans that have been forced into bankruptcy in order to pay their medical expenses.

"The cost of doing nothing would have been much greater to Nebraskans.

"Certainly, government at all levels, including the state of Nebraska, has an obligation to find ways to reduce the cost of health care. This will be no easy task. But asking the federal government for more money to bail out state budgets does nothing to bring down the cost to consumers, or ease the burden on government to pay for services for low income families and elderly."

A copy of the Kaiser Commission study can be found at this link:

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  • So basically, Ben knows it will cost you more to cover the additional Medicaid patients but justifies it because it saves everybody through reduced medical costs. Oops, forgot to mention that those savings get eaten up by the extra taxes its going to take to pay for the Medicaid provision. What are details other than pesky facts anyway? I guess we just shouldn't concern ourselves with such complexities.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 7:00 PM
  • Does anyone actually belive that the Federal governemnt will save money? Meidcare is a great example it has cost much more than ever estimated andis a total mess. I have some ocean front property and a bride I would love to sell you.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 9:32 AM
  • Ben Nelson is either stupid or he thinks we are or both. Read the attached article. It makes perfect sense if you are not a politician.

    -- Posted by RLD on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 11:22 AM
  • What a interesting article!!!!!!!

    Two lying politicians that really don't care about the public, BUT think of ways too fill their pockets and become famous.

    -- Posted by Just a reader on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 11:41 AM
  • Fire ALL incumbents!!! Fire ALL incumbents!!!! We have the worst functioning government of any civilized country right now and they're all in on the take for thier own businesses and their spouses/children's/monkeys uncle's business name it.

    Your politicians are being paid MONEY that comes from sources OUTSIDE their own districts to vote for legislation that their constituents don't want! IT IS LEGAL WHY? Who's going to vote for getting less money? Not your politicians!

    Obama is using stimulus money to deceive voters on government websites, urging celebritards to support his policies, etc.

    The recovery is failing, and basically never was as they inflated numbers to make them look good and to lied to us. Fact is, the economy is looking bad as it ever had right now, all the while the Obama's party and vacation like billionaires...on YOUR dime.

    Time to wake up and get real representatives in Washington. Time for term limits! No more born and bred politicians to waste our money! Time to hold them accountable! Time to take back our country!

    Whenther you are a liberal, a conservative, a liberitarian, or an independant...we deserve better. We deserve sacrifice by more than just tax payers and the working class! We deserve the truth, we deserve true representaion, not bribe money from San Fransisco driving the policies of the country!

    Lets drain the swamp for real this time, Nancy sure as hell wont't do it!

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 12:16 PM
  • Justin, I would just love to see all the incumbents voted out in the next election, but do you really think that the good old 3rd district of Nebraska, would ever vote out a republican incumbent? No way. That would be a real fairy tale come true. Same goes for the democrates that are voted in each time they are up for election. But the sorry truth is, there are just some places that will never vote out their incumbents that have been on the take for years. Unless we actually vote ALL of them out of office or have term limits, it's just a pipe dream.

    Before you chastize Obama and family for going on vacation, remember that good old dubya went on vacation more than any president in history. He visited his ranch 77 times for a total of 490 days, and made 149 trips to Camp David for a total of 487 days. In 8 years (2922 days) he was on vacation 977 days, over 33% of the time. Also on our dime! Just trying to be fair on this issue. (by the way I did not last time and will not in the next election vote for Obama).

    Let's make them have the same retirement plan that most Americans have, Social Security, but that also will never happen.

    Health insurance? Let's have all Americans have the same plan they have, bet there wouldn't be any discussion about a health care plan if we had the same one they have.

    But those are just pipe dreams.

    I'm afraid that San francisco isn't the only place driving the policies, time for both parties to stop the partisan politics and work together for the good of the country.

    -- Posted by goarmy67 on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 10:37 PM
  • If the race is between the Republican and the Democrat then the Republican will win because the Democrat won't get 51% of the vote. However, there is a conservative Independent trying to get on the ballot and if he does then the 3rd District could very easily elect a Democrat. For example, the Republican and Independent split the conservative votes with 33% each then that means the Democrat could win with just 34% of the vote and Scott Kleeb, a Democrat, got 45% of the vote against the same Republican not too long ago, so it's a very strong possibility if this becomes a 3-way race and a pretty liberal Democrat, at that. Don't be surprised if it happens.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 3:18 PM
  • Rebekah Davis is NOT very liberal. she will be a great alternative to Adrian Smith who has done absolutely nothing during the last 2 years except line his pockets. Find out about your choices before you vote, we have a good choice in the 3rd district,for November!!

    -- Posted by dprovince on Sat, Aug 21, 2010, at 10:13 PM
  • Rep. Adrian Smith has voted my way on everything thats come up before him. Great job Adrian!

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sat, Aug 21, 2010, at 10:28 PM
  • So, Chunky, you don't believe that women should have equal pay for equal work?

    You don't beleive that we should increase the transparency and accountability of Federal advisory committees?

    And on and on and on................

    -- Posted by dprovince on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 7:09 PM
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