Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kudos to Heineman. Heineman Tells Sebelius to Pound Sand

In a letter that Governor Heineman sent to the 'Honorable' Kathleen Sebelius today, he told her that the state would not operate a new temporary, his risk insurance program as detailed in Section 1101 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. That would be part of the same health care bill passed by Nebraska's Judas Senator Ben Nelson.

In his letter, Heineman said:

"I asked the Nebraska Department of Insurance for its review of this matter, and after careful analysis, the State of Nebraska will not seek to operate this new federal insurance program. The Insurance Director, Ann Frohman, has advised me that the proposed level of federal support and premiums will be inadequate to meet all the expected obligations of this program. Even with enrollment cap, we are very concerned that funding will not be sufficient to assure solvent runoff of all claims when the program expires in three years. With so much financial uncertainty, the State of Nebraska cannot afford to subsidize a second high risk insurance pool.

It is import to note that because Nebraska currently operates a high risk insurance pool, this does no mean the current pool can provide the structure or synergies for a new program. A separate pool will be needed given that the new program relies on a plan design, pricing scheme and funding requirements which are much different than Nebraska's current program.

In conclusion, I question what value comes with adding a new layer of bureaucracy at the state level to administer this program. I understand that the federal government will, regardless of our decision, proceed to operate the new high risk pool and provide coverage to eligible Nebraskans"

Heineman was right to tell the federal government to do this. Had he not done so, the state would have been on the line for the cost of the ultimate underfunding of this program.

This is just another example of the lies built into the financial justifications of this bill which was passed ONLY BECAUSE OF BEN NELSON'S CHRISTMAS EVE SELLOUT OF HIS CONSTITUENTS. Unfortunately, the Cornhusker Kickback didn't get enough money for the state to operate this part of HIS BILL.

We again applaud Governor Heineman for a wise decision. Let the feds pound sand!

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