Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2014

CONTACT
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9313, kathie.osterman@nebraska.gov 
 
DHHS:  LB 887 is not affordable
 
Lincoln – Kerry Winterer, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services, reiterated today that LB 887, a bill to expand the Medicaid program, is not affordable and would shift a huge burden to Nebraska taxpayers.
 
“The Medicaid program is already the single largest program in state government and one of the fastest growing programs in the state budget,” Winterer said.  “LB 887 is Medicaid expansion at a very high cost.”
 
Winterer said an analysis by Milliman, an independent third party actuarial firm, shows the total cost of LB 887 in state and federal funds through 2020 is nearly $3.4 billion.  This is in addition to the costs of the current Medicaid program. 
 
“Medicaid expansion is estimated by Milliman to cost over 38% more as a result LB 887,” Winterer said.  “Under LB 887, nearly one in five Nebraskans would be enrolled in Medicaid.” 
 
“You will hear from those pushing for this bill that this is all federal money – but that isn’t the whole story,” Winterer said.  “First, federal funds will not pay for all of the expenses to implement expansion.  And, federal funds are tax dollars.  In addition, federal funding for services will decline by 10 percent at the end of the next five years and state general funds will have to pick it up, shifting a huge burden to Nebraskans.”
 
In state fiscal year 2013, 240,639 Nebraskans were eligible for Medicaid at a cost to taxpayers of $1.8 billion in state and federal funds.  Winterer said LB 887 is not only an expansion of Medicaid, but one Nebraska cannot afford.
 
The Milliman report is on the DHHS website at www.dhhs.ne.gov/medicaid.
 
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