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Nebraska Is Holding Up Its Medicaid Expansion to Pursue a Misguided Waiver to Cut Dental Benefits

In fall 2018, Nebraska voted to finally expand Medicaid, as most other states had already done. The state’s Medicaid expansion will extend coverage to almost 100,000 Nebraskans, including single adults, parents, and caregivers. But implementation is now at risk of indefinite delay because of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ new proposal to condition the Medicaid dental benefit on documenting work and other activities. As described in our analysis, this proposal has three distinct problems.

  1. Ricketts’ proposal will lead to litigation, further complicating the implementation of Medicaid expansion.
  2. Reporting requirements will cause many people who are employed to lose coverage.
  3. Even on its own terms, taking away dental coverage to incentivize employment makes no sense.

Instead of pursuing this illegal and poorly conceived waiver, Nebraska should implement what voters approved: a Medicaid expansion that provides the state’s standard Medicaid dental benefit for newly eligible beneficiaries. Click the “Download” button below for more details.