LB577 – Medicaid Expansion for Low-Income Nebraskans
On January 23rd, State Senator Kathy Campbell (Lincoln) introduced LB577, a bill to expand Medicaid to low-income Nebraskans as allowed in the federal healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Senator Campbell, along will 11 other co-sponsoring Senators, wants to expand health coverage to the more than 54,000 uninsured, low-income Nebraskans, including many people living with HIV/AIDS. Nebraska AIDS Project wants to thank Senator Campbell, and all her co-sponsors, for putting forth this legislation. We urge you to contact your State Senator and ask them to support LB577.
Why LB577 is Important to People with HIV
There’s a catch 22 when it comes to HIV and Medicaid. Current law requires people living with HIV to wait until they are disabled by AIDS to qualify. Wouldn’t it make sense, and save a lot of money, if we treat people before they get disabled and keep them from becoming disabled? Early treatment is cost effective and prevents transmission.
Expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would be a major victory for people living with HIV and countless others who have been shut out of the current health insurance market. LB577 solves one of the cruel realities of the AIDS crisis by allowing Medicaid access to low-income, non-disabled people living with HIV.
Expanded access to Medicaid coverage ensures that people living with HIV will have access to the reliable health coverage that they need to seek and maintain continuous care, without the stress of interruptions in their medical care caused by inadequate coverage or an inability to pay.
Today, around 50% of people with HIV are in regular medical care and only 25% are being effectively treated with HIV medications. Only around 13% of people living with HIV have private insurance coverage and nearly 25% are uninsured.
What Can You Do?
Want to help? It’s easy! Send an email to the members of the Health and Human Services Committee and ask them to advance LB577. This is an opportunity for Nebraska to take the lead in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Tell them! Find their contact info here.
The hearing for this bill is scheduled for 1:30pm on Thursday, February 28th.
More news and analysis to follow. Please contact Jordan Delmundo, Policy and Program Director, at 402-552-9260 if you have questions.