Governor Heineman is asking Nebraskans for input on how to implement the Affordable Care Act.
A series of meetings will be held, two of which will be in Lincoln. The Governor says some of the discussions will be about whether it should be operated through the state or the federal government. He's announced a series of statewide public meetings to discuss setting up a health insurance exchange program, as required in the law. Stakeholders on all sides of the issue are invited to give open testimony.
"It's a good thing. It'll add to the dialogue that's already occurring," Jennifer Carter with Nebraska Appleseed.
Healthcare exchanges are online marketplaces where people or business owners looking for insurance can access private insurance easier and faster. The governor has until November 16th to submit a plan on how the program should be operated...whether that be through the state or the federal government.
The governor, who openly opposes the Affordable Care Act, says this could all come down to another date in November.
"If the President is re–elected, this country is going to move forward with Obama Care. If he's not re–elected, then there's going to be a healthy discussion about—is it going to be about repealing or replacing? Is there going to be dramatic changes?" says Governor Heineman.
Jennifer Carter with Nebraska Appleseed says these meetings may provide a setting to arrive at a consensus. She says hopefully the decisions made are the ones that work best for all Nebraskans.
"What I hope to see is a little more of that. And continued focused on, what's really going to work for Nebraskans? What makes it affordable?"
Two of the meetings will be held in Lincoln on September 4 and 6 at the downtown Holiday Inn.
The five other statewide meetings will be held on Aug. 27th in Gering; Aug. 28th in Kearney; Aug. 30 in Nebraska City; Sept. 10 in Omaha; and Sept. 12 in South Sioux City.
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