Rural Health News

Nebraskans take action to prepare for Medicaid expansion vote

On Sept. 13, in York and Albion, Nebraska, dozens joined community conversations about Medicaid expansion and how it could positively impact their communities. Local residents, hospital CEOs, doctors, and legislative candidates engaged with staff from the Center for Rural Affairs to ask questions and learn more about expansion. Initiative 427, the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, will be put before Nebraska voters in November’s election.

Rural voters help carry Medicaid expansion to the ballot

Nebraska is set to be the fourth state in the nation where Medicaid expansion will appear on the November ballot. This comes following months of signature collection and validation, and the dismissal of a lawsuit against the initiative. The state joins Idaho, Utah, and Montana (where expansion will sunset) in allowing voters to decide on the future of health care coverage access for thousands of their neighbors. If passed in all four states, an estimated half-million low income residents would gain coverage.

Iowa candidates field questions on water, health care, immigration, and more

Water quality and Medicaid were a few of the most talked about issues at a candidate forum recently held by the Center for Rural Affairs and the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County. Voters were given the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum setting in Nevada, Iowa.

Candidates for the election of Iowa state Senate District 25, Chad Buss, of Parkersburg, and Annette Sweeney, of Alden, answered questions from district residents. Issues were raised such as farm conservation, clean energy, health care, clean water, and local infrastructure.

Petition drive underway to expand Medicaid

Nebraska is seeking to join 32 other states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid. A petition drive is underway to pose the question to voters in the November general election.

The Midwest state is following Maine’s lead. In November 2017, Maine was the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot box, passing with 59 percent approval. The circumstances surrounding Maine’s referendum mirror concerns in Nebraska with similar rural and aging populations and ardent opposition to expansion from the executive branch.

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