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Governor Heineman delivers his 2014 State of the State address, January 15, 2014.
Gov. Dave Heineman
Republicans aren't only fighting over Medicaid expansion in Arkansas now, it's also happening in Nebraska, where Republican state Sen. Kathy Campbell introduced a proposal that looks a bit like Arkansas's privatized plan last month. So far, the bill appears to be several votes short of the 33 needed to pass and to override a likely veto.

To highlight the fight, a progressive group is now running radio ads in the state.

The spots by Americans United for Change contrast Gov. Dave Heineman's (R) request for a new $3.3 million state plane with his refusal to pay the state's relatively minor share of the cost to expand Medicaid. [...]

"Gov. Heineman says he needs a new private plane to do his job," says the ad, which targets reluctant GOP state senators in districts where many constituents would benefit from the expansion. "The price tag? $3.3 million, courtesy of the Nebraska taxpayers. Heineman says Nebraska can afford to fly him around in style –- but then says we can’t afford to expand Medicaid to keep our rural hospitals from going under."

The hospital argument is a salient one, a good one to home in on in these ads. Rural hospitals in Nebraska, as in all the states that have refused the expansion, are warning of inevitable closures if the Medicaid money doesn't come in. About 54,000 Nebraskans fall into the Medicaid gap.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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