LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman is warning Nebraska lawmakers that he will oppose any efforts to expand Medicaid coverage in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care law.
The Republican governor took aim Wednesday at a scheduled health-exchange planning session organized by a Democratic lawmaker, calling it an “organizational meeting” of advocates who want to expand Medicaid.
Heineman says in a letter to lawmakers that he’s concerned an unfunded Medicaid expansion will force cuts in state aid to schools or a tax increase.
The high-court’s ruling last month required states to create health benefit exchanges to help insure more people. But the court ruled that the federal government cannot penalize states that opt out of a Medicaid expansion outlined in the federal health care law.
The letter was addressed specifically to state Sens. Kathy Campbell, Mike Gloor and Jeremy Nordquist, but copies were sent to all lawmakers. Heineman says in the letter that Vivianne Chaumont, the state’s Medicaid director, would not be attending Friday’s meeting as the three lawmakers had requested.