Back on January 17, 2013, I published an article here at the GiN website entitled “NE Medicaid Expansion: The Race is On.” I followed up with an entire series of articles detailing why Medicaid expansion is an uncommonly bad idea. Those articles were widely read and, I believe, effective in helping to prevent Medicaid expansion within the state — at least, as of this writing.
It’s a little more than five years later, but hope springs eternal among the Progressives in our great state. After several failed attempts to push Medicaid expansion legislation through the Unicameral — with Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln proposing a state constitutional amendment to do so during the most recent legislative session — advocates have now resorted to what I would characterize as the political equivalent of a “Hail, Mary” pass: They’re taking the issue directly to “THE PEOPLE” by circulating an initiative petition to place the issue of Medicaid expansion on the November ballot.
Yes, Dear Readers, the race is on — again.
I have elected to revisit the issue of Medicaid expansion here at GiN because, in browsing through the local press regarding circulation of the initiative petition, I encountered no serious examination of the wisdom of the proposal, only some puff pieces touting the efforts of the petition circulators and echoing their talking points — which, by the way, I find disturbingly familiar.
To begin, I would like to suggest a little not-so-light reading. You can find a digital copy of the initiative petition language here. In addition, Ballotpedia has a short but informative summary of the history of Medicaid expansion efforts in Nebraska and the procedure through which the current initiative measure may — or may not — make its way onto the ballot in November.
Finally, check back here to this, the GiN website. In the coming days, I will be publishing a new series of articles refuting petition-backers’ claims and establishing beyond any doubt that Medicaid expansion is still an uncommonly bad idea for Nebraska and Nebraskans.