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Nebraska Expands Medicaid, Reduces Uninsured, Unpaid Care, and Bankruptcy

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%.

Douglas Conway and Laryssa Mykyta, "Decline in Share of People Without Health Insurance Driven by Increase in Public Coverage in 36 States," U.S. Census Bureau, 2022.09.15.
Douglas Conway and Laryssa Mykyta, “Decline in Share of People Without Health Insurance Driven by Increase in Public Coverage in 36 States,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2022.09.15.

Nebraska underscores the national evidence: we can take care of our neighbors by expanding Medicaid.


  1. P. Aitch 2022-09-27

    But Obama is still Black. Expanding Obamacare/Medicaid is not supporting white privilege.

  2. Amy Spain 2022-09-27

    Unfortunately, those people on SSDI still are not covered by Medicaid even though they pay over $170 a month for Medicare which does not include dental, optical, or drug insurance. These are also pricey add-ons to a policy that only covers 80% of “covered” costs. There are many counties that refuse to participate in Medicare Advantage programs that would make dental and eye care achievable for disabled persons or those with lower social security retirement benefits.

  3. All Mammal 2022-09-27

    Ah. Now it makes sense why it doesn’t make sense. Thanks for turning the light on for me, P. Aitch. Sometimes, I need a little nudge for mentally inhibited decisions in our state to come into focus. Jeez, it really is that simple. Sad. I hope we come out of our primitive rut and vote for our best interests.

  4. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-27

    P.Aitch’s point is well taken. A constant mantra with the boys at lunch and on the golf course is, “I’m not going to pay the neer do wells doctor and hospital bills. Why should I after all the work I put in.”

  5. DaveFN 2022-09-27

    Pinning unknown motivations to any blanket categorization (such as “white privilege” ) is the recourse of a scoundrel.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-09-27

    Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry, a socialized internet, socialized gas well remediation and now a socialized water system are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

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