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Medicaid expansion

In this Oct. 16 photo, yard signs are stacked outside a public hearing in Lincoln for Initiative 427, which would expand Medicaid.

A year ago, I was one many Nebraskans who helped gather 136,000 signatures seeking to place Initiative 427, Medicaid expansion, on Nebraska's November ballot.

Voters passed the initiative in good faith, believing it would make it possible for the 90,000 Nebraskans without coverage to have basic access to health care.

We expected that it would strengthen the economies of small communities in Nebraska and help sustain doctors and medical facilities throughout the state. It would keep medical services in our small towns and strengthen health care in cities, as well. Many of us worked hard to get Medicaid expansion approved.

Yet, to date, Nebraskans in the coverage gap still don't have it. The state is engaging in a complex demonstration process that was not authorized by voters and that won't be implemented until October 2020 -- more than a year from now!

This is unacceptable and not what we worked for and voted for. If you want to help families gain access to care, please contact the governor's office and your state senator and tell them to implement Medicaid expansion quickly and without the requirements and benefits changes that we didn't vote for or approve.

The people's intent should not be postponed. It's time to make this happen.

Pam Baker, Lincoln

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