Billboard attacks Gov. Heineman's refusal to expand Medicaid - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Billboard attacks Gov. Heineman's refusal to expand Medicaid

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By: Bill Schammert

With more than 2,500 signatures, a petition is now launching an ad campaign. The petition asks the governor to expand Medicaid and give health care access to 32,000 Nebraskans.

A rally was held Tuesday afternoon in south Lincoln.

"Explain to the working low income constituents why turning away $2 billion in federal money was better than providing them with the basics to a healthy life," Beatty Brasch with the Center for People in Need said.

Also in attendance was Vicki Allsman. A 55-year-old Army veteran, Allsman was laid off in December and has been trying to get health care ever since.

"Medicaid has turned me down twice, but the letters never say why," she said. "I'm angry at the barriers and problems caused by no health care."

Now has paid for a new billboard at 20th and Highway 2 in Lincoln.

It reads:

"Welcome to Nebraska: Where 32,000 Nebraskans are denied health care because Governor Heineman refuses to expand Medicaid."

Some senators are currently trying to push through the "Wellness in Nebraska" or "WIN" act, which would expand Medicaid in the Cornhusker state.

Medicaid expansion would be federally funded 100% until 2016, then that number would gradually reduce to a 90-10 share between the federal and state governments by 2020.

Bryan Van Deun with Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom says Medicaid expansion is a mistake and would just push the country further into debt.

"Medicaid is basically a rescue mission," he said. "People already go to the hospital and go to an emergency room when things get bad."

He had a different name for the WIN Act.

"I would call it the willful takeover of health care in Nebraska," he said. 

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