Nebraska voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2018. Foot-dragging Governor Pete Ricketts finally implemented the voters’ will in October 2020.
Two years in, Medicaid expansion appears to be working out pretty well for Nebraska:
Since the expansion began:
- The number of Nebraskans without health insurance has dropped 14.5%.
- Nebraska hospitals saw a $20 million reduction in the amount of charity or unpaid care they had to write off.
- Bankruptcy filings in the state fell by 23.5% [Martha Stoddard and Henry J. Cordes, “Expanded Medicaid Leaves Fewer Nebraskans Without Health Coverage,” Omaha World-Herald via KPVI-TV, 2022.09.26].
24 states still have lower rates of uninsured residents than Nebraska; all but one of them has expanded Medicaid. South Dakota ranks 36th in the rate of uninsured residents. Nationwide, only 6.6% of residents of Medicaid-expansion states lack health insurance; in non-expansion states, the uninsured rate is 12.7%.
Nebraska underscores the national evidence: we can take care of our neighbors by expanding Medicaid.