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Recent posts by Guest Writer

2017 Brings Tough Budget Choices in Nebraska

LINCOLN,  Neb. – Nebraska rings in the New Year faced with a looming revenue shortfall – nearly $900 million heading into the next budget cycle for 2019. 

And while it's a touchy subject, some analysts say school-funding reform should be part of any budget discussions. 

Field navigators are trained to help people understand the basics of health insurance

“What in the world is a field navigator?” This is a question my family and friends asked me in October 2013, and I still get this question from people in my life and from those I encounter on a weekly basis. “Oh, you help people get insurance,” they say. Well, yes that’s part of what I do. However, there’s so much more.

Across the United States there are individuals called “assisters.” Community Action of Nebraska (CAN) applied for and received a federal grant that was disbursed to its agencies to employ assisters called “navigators.” I am employed with Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Inc. (NENCAP), and use the title “field navigator” in the work I do across Northeast Nebraska.

Taxing our future dreams

We are not working hard enough to make dreams come true in Nebraska. As a result, we complain about taxes. I want to write about legislators in Nebraska and surrounding states who have started to talk about drastically cutting or eliminating income taxes during the next legislative session.

It seems they have already done this in our neighboring state of Kansas with negative results. Kansas and Nebraska have many similarities including median household income, number of acres under agricultural cultivation and proportion of the population living in rural areas. That is why the Center for Rural Affairs put out the report “Kansas’ Self-Inflicted Budget Wound Continues to Bleed Out, Providing a Cautionary Tale for Nebraska.”

Bringing harvest into the classroom

Iowa farmers are in the midst of harvest season, but many are pausing to share the fruits of their labor with local kids. October is Farm to School Month, and activities and events around the state are educating students about eating healthy foods.

Ellen Walsh Rosemann, who owns Farm Table Procurement and Delivery in Harlan, a food hub that distributes and transports food grown around Iowa to schools, said that when kids know where their food comes from, they are more likely to become better educated as consumers.

In support of expanding Medicaid

In my work, l meet people who are unable to obtain health insurance on a regular basis. Due to lack of coverage, needed health care services are routinely delayed or denied in ways that significantly impact patient outcomes.

Such gaps in care are not only a threat to quality of life for thousands of individual Nebraskans, but also prevent our healthcare system from improving, and hurt our state’s economy.

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