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Medicaid expansion delay is costly for Lancaster County, leader says
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Medicaid expansion delay is costly for Lancaster County, leader says

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Bridge repair

Damage to one of Lancaster County's 53 timber bridges. 

Local government reporter

Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

Lancaster County commissioners wouldn't have needed to raise property taxes last year to cover bridge repairs if Medicaid expansion were in place in Nebraska, board Chair Sean Flowerday said Tuesday.

Voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2018, and Flowerday lamented the state's "slow-walking" implementation of it, which is projected to be live by Oct. 1.

Even before the County Board had a Democratic majority, commissioners supported Medicaid expansion. 

Proponents of the expansion contend it could free up the roughly $2.5 million Lancaster County spends on general assistance each year.

Over $9M in Lancaster County bridge repairs, road work eyed in 2020

Most often, County Human Services Director Sara Hoyle said, those funds pay for the primary medical care of people who are sick in Lancaster County and have no other funds or benefits to use.

Flowerday, who is a Democrat, said last year the county needed to raise the property tax levy to generate $2.1 million to pay for more bridge and road work. 

"It literally would have covered it,” Flowerday said. 

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Raymond Road to reopen with new bridge

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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Local government reporter

Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

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