Proposed Bill Would Make Some State Officials Ineligible for State Health Plan

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LB 18, introduced by Omaha Senator Jeremy Nordquist is also known as the Healthcare Fairness Act. If passed, it would prohibit the Governor and five other statewide elected Constitutional Officers from the state's healthcare plan.

"It would prohibit the Governor, other constitutional officers so, it would be the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Auditor, the Treasurer, Secretary of State and the Legislators from participating in the state health plan," said Nordquist.

The state currently pays 79 percent of the plan's premiums for the six high-ranking individuals. State Senators who are enrolled in the plan currently pay 100 percent of their premiums.

"Policy-wise it's going to make for better policy in the long term. To keep the Governor and legislators out of the state plan and makes them go into the private plan because it's going to make them much more aware of what's going on in the private market. It's going to make them more aware of the challenges that families in our state are facing," said Nordquist.

Senator Nordquist's office said Nebraska would be the first state to mirror the national Affordable Healthcare Act in terms of the provisions for elected officials. Congressmen, U.S. Senators and their staff members will not be eligible for the federal plan. They would have to find health insurance on their own through the exchange or a private plan elsewhere. Nordquist said the state would save several thousand dollars a year by not paying premiums for the six individuals affected by the bill.