State of Nebraska Archives: on Health Care


Shane Osborn: AdWatch: Never waver to repeal ObamaCare & protect freedom

The Osborn for Senate campaign today released the following statement concerning the campaign's new television advertisement: "The next Senator from Nebraska will be tested while in Washington and there is only one candidate who has proven he will never waver. Only Shane Osborn will stand up every single day for the conservative values of Nebraska voters, from standing with Nebraskans against ObamaCare since 2009 to fighting against Dodd-Frank"

Ad script:

Voiceover: In a crude concrete building, Navy pilot Shane Osborn endured Chinese interrogation for 12 days. He never wavered.

Shane Osborn: Every candidate says the right things. Then, under pressure, they fold and they fail. We need new leaders. Conservatives strong enough to act, not just talk. That's the only way to repeal ObamaCare and protect our freedom. I'm Shane Osborn and I approve this message. I won't let you down.

Source: AdWatch: Osborn press release in 2014 Nebraska Senate race Mar 17, 2014

Dave Heineman: Nebraska will not be pressured into expanding Medicaid

The implementation of ObamaCare has been one disaster after another. Pres. Obama promised the American people that if you already have insurance, his plan would reduce your insurance premiums up to $2,500 per family per year. The facts show otherwise. The required parts of the new federal health care law alone will cost the State of Nebraska more than $200 million in state general funds over the next 6 years.

Pres. Obama and his political operatives are trying to pressure Nebraska into expanding Medicaid, but Nebraska will not be intimidated by the Obama administration. The US Supreme Court said ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion is optional. It is up to each state to decide how they want to proceed. The financial reality of expanding Medicaid is very simple. Expanding Medicaid will result in less future funding for state aid to education and our state college system. The responsible choice is to reject this optional Medicaid expansion.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Nebraska legislature Jan 15, 2014

Ben Sasse: Job change causes uninsurance; so make insurance portable

Pointing to the stack of ObamaCare regulations, he said, "This is not a picture of what America does. We got to this situation not just because Democrats had too many bad ideas. We got to this situation partly because Republicans don't have enough good ideas," he said.

ObamaCare would not have happened had the Republican Party been a conservative party of ideas four or five years ago, admitting people were in pain. In 2008, there were 81 million people who passed through a period of being uninsured during 2008.

He noted that when his grandparents were having kids, the average length of someone staying in the same job was 20 years. Now it's 3.8 years, he said. "The No. 1 reason for growing uninsurance in America is not poverty" but because of job change, he said.

He believes one solution will be making health insurance portable, so it can go with you when you change jobs. Sasse said those problems can be fixed without the federal government.

Source: Imperial Republican: 2014 Nebraska Senate town hall meeting Nov 20, 2013

Ben Sasse: I'm the national anti-ObamaCare Senate candidate

They've called me˙"the national anti-ObamaCare Senate candidate."˙I want to roll back ObamaCare, and to explain to the American people what a constructive conservative vision really looks like.

As President George W. Bush's Assistant Secretary of Health, during my time at HHS, I learned˙A LOT about health care.˙I've spent the better part of the last ten years in the health care sector, and I have intensely studied ObamaCare.˙The fact is, I'm one of the few people it seems who has actually read the 2,300 pages of ObamaCare, and let me just tell you--it's worse than you think.˙I understand the bill, I can explain the bill, and I know how to rip it apart.

The problem with ObamaCare˙goes way beyond technological glitches. The problem with ObamaCare is that it fundamentally changes the relationship between the Government and our citizens. [We should] repeal ObamaCare and get America back on track.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, SasseForNebraska.com, "Issues" Nov 14, 2013

Shane Osborn: Propose better options, then repeal ObamaCare

Osborn said he believes ObamaCare, the health care reform law, should be repealed, but Republicans should bear the obligation of proposing a better option. "Republicans can't be a no-party," he said.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2014 Nebraska Senate race Jul 10, 2013

Deb Fischer: I won't steal $700 billion from Medicare

KERREY: The question is not: Are we going to keep our commitments? But the question is: Are we going to do the right thing for our future?

FISCHER: Well, I wasn't in government when those commitments were made. But I can tell you, as a state senator for eight years, I took my job very seriously. And when I made a commitment that meant I was going to keep it. That meant that I was hoping the people that came after me and served in the Legislature would keep that commitment also. I can tell you what I won't do, though. I will not cut benefits, I will not raise taxes, and I won't steal $700 billion from Medicare.

KERREY: We've got a commitment we can't fund.

Source: 2012 Nebraska Senate debate excerpts Sep 28, 2012

Deb Fischer: Replace ObamaCare with free market reforms & competition

Fischer said, "Today's Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of ObamaCare means the responsibility of repealing ObamaCare has been placed solely on the shoulders of Congress. ObamaCare is an attempted government takeover of our healthcare system that is burdening American families and small businesses with crushing taxes and regulations. I support the full repeal of ObamaCare. More government and bureaucracy is not the solution, it is the problem. We can reduce health care costs in America by promoting more competition between insurance companies, enacting medical malpractice reform, updating information technology, and embracing preventive care. In the Senate, I will work across party lines to implement free market reforms that will lower health care costs and improve accessibility for the uninsured.
Source: KCAU-TV9 Eyewitness News on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Jun 28, 2012

Bob Kerrey: Supports ObamaCare even though he knows it's unpopular

Kerrey said he supports the federal health care reform enacted in 2010 and knows it is unpopular with many Nebraskans. He said those people should vote for Fischer.

Fischer spoke about possible changes to Social Security, while noting many lawmakers won't take a stand on the topic. "We need to look at means testing. We need to look at (raising) the eligibility age," she said.

Source: Sioux City Journal on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate May 17, 2012

Deb Fischer: Repeal ObamaCare health overhaul

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Treasurer Don Stenberg and state Sen. Deb Fischer answered questions Tuesday night during a debate sponsored by The Omaha World-Herald, with all calling for reducing federal spending and the national deficit and repealing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.
Source: AP in The Republic on 2012 Nebraska Senate debates May 1, 2012

Jon Bruning: Signed lawsuit opposing ObamaCare

Stenberg continued to question Bruning's conservative credentials by noting that Bruning requested an earmark from U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., to fund a drug-war program. He made the line of attack after Bruning condemned the growth of "nanny government."

"The fact is that a couple of years ago, he invited nanny government into the Attorney General's Office," Stenberg told the crowd.

Source: Omaha World Herald on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Apr 5, 2012

Dave Heineman: Don't spend money on ObamaCare until Supreme Court decision

The new federal health care law raises taxes, cuts Medicare and contains an enormous unfunded Medicaid mandate. Because it is the current law, our state is moving forward with the planning and designing of a state health insurance exchange.

Our state has been working hard for nearly two years to protect Nebraska's interests, and I want to assure you and our citizens that Nebraska will not default to the federal government regarding a health insurance exchange. However, it is important to recognize that the United States Supreme Court will decide whether this law is constitutional or not by June 29 of this year. In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court will have three days of oral arguments on this issue in late March. The simple truth is it would be a costly mistake to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to begin implementing Obamacare until the United States Supreme Court makes its decision.

Source: 2012 Nebraska State of the State Address Jan 12, 2012

Mike Johanns: Didn’t phase out adult mental health care services

Kleeb accused Johanns of “zeroing out” the mental health budget during his tenure as governor, when the state phased out adult mental health care services at the regional center in Hastings and began doing so at the regional center in Norfolk.

Johanns said that Kleeb was “simply wrong” and that neither he nor state lawmakers would have allowed that to happen.

Kleeb quickly took aim at Johanns during his opening statement, criticizing the former governor for his role in phasing out the state’s regional centers. In 2004, Johanns supported a proposal to develop more community-based programs for the mentally ill. As part of that plan, lawmakers lessened the roles of the regional centers and spent the money from institutional treatment on community-based mental health services.

Johanns responded that more than $26 million was budgeted to help with the transition. “We would never have gotten a bill passed with that idea. It would (have been) just cruel beyond cruel,” said Johanns.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate Debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Oct 7, 2008

Mike Johanns: Giving all taxpayers federal coverage would cost $480B

Johanns took aim at Kleeb’s repeated promise to give all taxpayers access to the federal health care coverage provided to Congress and other federal employees.

Johanns said that was a “nice sound bite,” but said it would cost the nation $480 billion.

Kleeb responded that at a time when government was spending billions to rescue Wall Street, he thought the federal government could help insure the uninsured. It is estimated that about 200,000 Nebraskans lack health insurance, Kleeb said.

Kleeb also argued that Nebraskans already pay for the uninsured, whose medical bills are passed down by hospitals and doctors to other consumers. “We actually can afford it because we’re paying it,” Kleeb said.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate Debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Oct 7, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Shouldn’t phase out adult mental health care services

Kleeb accused Johanns of “zeroing out” the mental health budget during his tenure as governor, when the state phased out adult mental health care services at the regional center in Hastings and began doing so at the regional center in Norfolk.

Johanns said that Kleeb was “simply wrong” and that neither he nor state lawmakers would have allowed that to happen.

Kleeb quickly took aim at Johanns during his opening statement, criticizing the former governor for his role in phasing out the state’s regional centers. In 2004, Johanns supported a proposal to develop more community-based programs for the mentally ill. As part of that plan, lawmakers lessened the roles of the regional centers and spent the money from institutional treatment on community-based mental health services.

Johanns responded that more than $26 million was budgeted to help with the transition. “We would never have gotten a bill passed with that idea. It would (have been) just cruel beyond cruel,” said Johanns.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate Debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Oct 7, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Give all taxpayers access to federal coverage like Congress

Johanns took aim at Kleeb’s repeated promise to give all taxpayers access to the federal health care coverage provided to Congress and other federal employees.

Johanns said that was a “nice sound bite,” but said it would cost the nation $480 billion.

Kleeb responded that at a time when government was spending billions to rescue Wall Street, he thought the federal government could help insure the uninsured. It is estimated that about 200,000 Nebraskans lack health insurance, Kleeb said.

Kleeb also argued that Nebraskans already pay for the uninsured, whose medical bills are passed down by hospitals and doctors to other consumers. “We actually can afford it because we’re paying it,” Kleeb said.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate Debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Oct 7, 2008

Mike Johanns: Alternative community hospitals got 9000 more people treated

The candidates clashed over Johanns’ record as governor in closing state psychiatric institutions in Hastings and Norfolk to shift treatment to nonhospital community settings. Kleeb called that failed leadership because alternative community treatment was not adequately funded, leaving authorities with no place to house mentally ill people taken into custody. He cited allegations of inhumane treatment of residents of the Beatrice State Developmental Center.

Johanns said Kleeb made a “major mistake” by calling the Beatrice center a “mental health” facility because it treats the developmentally disabled. He said the policy change allowed Nebraska to access millions in additional federal dollars, allowing 9,000 more people to receive mental health services.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Sep 16, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Alternative community treatment not adequately funded

The candidates clashed over Johanns’ record as governor in closing state psychiatric institutions in Hastings and Norfolk to shift treatment to nonhospital community settings. Kleeb called that failed leadership because alternative community treatment was not adequately funded, leaving authorities with no place to house mentally ill people taken into custody. He cited allegations of inhumane treatment of residents of the Beatrice State Developmental Center.

Johanns said Kleeb made a “major mistake” by calling the Beatrice center a “mental health” facility because it treats the developmentally disabled. He said the policy change allowed Nebraska to access millions in additional federal dollars, allowing 9,000 more people to receive mental health services.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Sep 16, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Parity for mental health; coverage for dental health

Scott will work to transform America’s ailing health care system by following these principles:
  • Parity with Members of Congress. Kleeb believes that health care coverage should be on par with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program--the health plan Members of Congress receive.
  • Portability. We don’t choose our health care plans; our employers do. Kleeb believes that health insurance should be portable so that we can play a greater deciding role in who provides our care.
  • Prevention. Kleeb will work toward a system designed to promote wellness and prevention, not merely treating sickness.
  • Mental health parity. Kleeb is committed to establishing mental health parity and will do all he can to make sure Nebraskans have the mental health coverage they need.
  • Coverage for dental care. Scott Kleeb knows that dental care is a necessary and integral part of overall general health, and should be] covered by insurance plans.
    Source: Campaign booklet, Nebraska’s Brand of Change, p.14-15 Aug 19, 2008

    Steven Larrick: I support universal single-payer health care

    Source: Nebraska Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Jun 25, 2008

    Mike Johanns: Opposes a single-payer government run program

    I will work to provide individuals and families affordable access to quality health care and oppose a single-payer government run program. I would advocate for health care policies to be tax deductible if purchased by an individual or family and allow small businesses to form alliances to purchase care at the lower cost offered to larger companies.
    Source: Nebraska Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Jun 3, 2008

    Mike Johanns: Use tobacco settlement for biomedical research

    We should formulate a rational approach for utilizing the proceeds from the tobacco settlement. I propose that a major endowment be dedicated to biomedical research at these facilities while leaving the majority of the tobacco funds for significant public health needs.

    We are so close to solving once and for all the riddles of many diseases with this research. These funds can offer a new day and a new life for Nebraskans and people around the world.

    In addition to this research, there are many needs to be funded with the remaining portion of the tobacco settlement. You know as I do that there are many health care needs in Nebraska that are not being met. I would submit, however, that there is no, and I repeat, no greater priority for funding than in the area of mental health.

    Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Nebraska Legislature Jan 11, 2001

    Mike Johanns: $6M increase in funding for mental health

    I propose we significantly boost funding for mental health. First, let’s agree to make mental health funding the highest priority with the remaining tobacco settlement dollars. Specifically, I propose dedicating $6 million in tobacco settlement funds for mental health over the biennium.

    Second, let’s join together to increase general fund support for mental health. Including the tobacco settlement funds, I propose increasing mental health aid from $28.5 million in the current fiscal year to $33.6 million dollars in fiscal year 2002 and to $38.7 million dollars in fiscal year 2003. This represents a more than 35% increase over the biennium.

    I recognize that even more needs to be done and so I pledge to do what I can to help Senator Jensen and the Health and Human Services Committee and Senator Wehrbein and the Appropriations Committee to identify mental health needs, prioritize them, and fund them. Maybe we can do more than what I propose today.

    Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Nebraska Legislature Jan 11, 2001

    • The above quotations are from State of Nebraska Politicians: Archives.
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    2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
      Democrats:
    Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
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    Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
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    Republicans:
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    Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
    Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
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    Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
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    Rep.Peter King(NY)
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    Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
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    2016 Third Party Candidates:
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    Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014