Failure to Close Health Coverage Gap Is Unconscionable

On March 29, 2016, a bracket motion to LB 1032 - the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act - successfully doomed any chance of closing Nebraska’s health coverage gap in 2016. Effectively killing the bill, 28 senators voted to bracket it until after the session.

Failing to pass LB 1032 will doom tens of thousands of working Nebraskans, from cities, small towns, and rural areas, to the continued economic struggle of living without access to affordable health insurance. It will cost lives. It will also cost insurance premium savings for those who already have insurance. And it will cost Nebraska as many as 10,000 new health care jobs.

We applaud the 20 senators who stood up for the Nebraskans who fall into the gap, and especially for the bill sponsors. Senator John McCollister and all the senators who joined him and worked so hard to address this crucial issue have shown courage and leadership by standing up for tens of thousands of working, uninsured Nebraskans.

We’ve worked with these senators and our organizational allies for 4 years, presenting solutions to the challenge of the health coverage gap every year. Opponents have yet to offer any real solutions to the stern challenges in our current health care system.

Nebraskans who fall into the gap work hard. The vast majority have sought and secured a job and work full-time or very near it. They deserve a chance at a happier, healthier life.

The 28 Senators who stood in the way of passage of LB 1032 owe real solutions to the Nebraskans who live in the health coverage gap, not just partisan rhetoric, political posturing, and empty words. Voting to preserve a public policy of negligence that leaves 97,000 Nebraskans by the side of the road with no health care options is unconscionable.