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Lawsuit seeks to force Nebraska to expand Medicaid sooner

Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 18:14:53-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Advocates for expanding Medicaid in Nebraska have filed a lawsuit to force state officials to offer coverage sooner than the official October 2020 rollout date.

The group Nebraska Appleseed announced the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of two Lincoln residents who were denied Medicaid coverage but will be eligible once the program is expanded.

The lawsuit argues that the long timetable violates the state’s duty to collect as much federal money as possible for the program. That requirement was included in the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative approved by voters in November.

The lawsuit says Nebraska will lose $149 million in federal reimbursement money by waiting until October 2020.

Officials with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services have said they need the time to ensure the expansion goes smoothly.