On Friday, Sept. 20, eight OTOC leaders traveled to Lincoln and participated in an action to express disapproval of the 1115 waiver filed by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). It substantially changes the law providing for Medicaid expansion in Nebraska that was passed by the voters as Initiative 427.
A press conference, organized by Nebraska Appleseed, was held before a hearing in the Rotunda of the Capitol, with over 30 supporters. Molly McCleery of Nebraska Appleseed opened the conference speaking of the vital need for health care for people to live a good life, and of the impact that expanding Medicaid could have on individuals and entire communities. She was followed by a Dr. Jane Potter of Omaha who spoke of the negative, life-long effects upon individuals caused by delaying needed medical care for a number of common, chronic conditions.
Dr. Carol LaCroix, a family physician, spoke on behalf of OTOC, citing OTOC’s concern for the common good and the faith perspective of caring of others as ones’ self that is OTOC’s foundation. She said that compassion for the sick and suffering was a major reason that she became a doctor. Compassion, she noted, is not valued by empires, because it undermines the structures that preserve the power of the empire. She questioned why the governor’s administration was erecting barriers to care and significantly delaying implementation of expansion. Senator Adam Morfeld, introducer of LR 170, a resolution for an oversight committee to monitor implementation, was the fourth speaker.