U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today made the following statement on Gov. Dave Heineman's announcement that Nebraska will participate in the federal health insurance exchange, created by President Obama's health care law, instead of creating a cost-prohibitive state exchange:
"When it comes to the President's health care law, saying anything is state run is simply a misnomer. The reality is that the federal government will wholly dictate how the exchange operates. This is just another reminder of the escalating costs and burdens the ill-advised health care law places on our states. That's why I support the Governor's decision to put Nebraska first.
"Nebraska doesn't borrow money or run a deficit, so a costly state-run exchange would leave the Unicameral with two very bad options: raising taxes or cutting funding to vital state services like education and law enforcement."
NOTE: The 2010 health care law requires the creation of health care exchanges, and states have until tomorrow to decide whether they will create a state exchange or participate in a federal exchange. According to the Nebraska Department of Insurance and the Department of Health and Human Services, a state exchange would cost the state $646 million between 2013 and 2020.