Thanks to the “no” votes of western Nebraska legislators Ken Schilz of Ogallala, Tom Hansen of North Platte, Mark Christensen of Imperial, John Harms of Scottsbluff, and 17 other Republicans, 54,000 poor Nebraskans will again be deprived of government funded preventative care and Medicaid due to failure of LB887. With no other alternative, these people will be forced to seek medical care from hospital emergency rooms where the uncompensated cost will be passed on to you and me via higher insurance premiums.
And of course, Republicans are never short on excuses for rejecting the bill, many of which are provided by Governor Dave Heineman, the guy who Nebraskans elected to discriminate against immigrants, women, the poor, the imprisoned, and recent board of education candidates. The latest set of alibis have to do with small amounts of money, as if you can put a price on health; and/or hypothetical questions about whether the government will renege on funding promises.
Appreciation is in order for Kathy Campbell and Ken Nordquist, senators who co-sponsored and fought for LB877 along with 27 other state senators who voted for passage of the bill. They represent admirable, personal qualities that have always been characteristic of Nebraskans: compassion, generosity, caring, hospitality, charity, and love. By voting their conscience and values before partisan politics they truly deserve the dignified title of Senator. To them, service in the best interests of the people is their sworn duty.
And as for the Schilzs, Christensens, Hansens, and Harms who poison the Capitol with irresponsible votes; who recklessly govern like mindless, unimaginative clones, pawns, and ogres—I remain eternally ashamed of them and what they stand for.