Sen. Nordquist Wants Elected Officials to Buy Insurance Like Everyone Else

Sen. Jeremy Nordquist

State Senator Jeremy Nordquist plans to propose newlegislation in 2013 that would put elected officials and their constituents on a levelplaying field when it comes to health insurance.

He proposes that constitutional officers and state senators no longer be able toparticipate in the state employee health insurance group plan and instead would need to purchase coverage on their own.

"I want to send a clear message to Nebraskans aboutthe Health Insurance Exchange we will create in Nebraska – if it is good enoughfor our constituents, it should be good enough for policymakers and electedofficials," said Sen. Jeremy Nordquist.

"If we no longer shelter our electedofficials from the difficulties of purchasing health insurance in theindividual market, they may finally be able to see clearly the challenges facedby working families in our state, who struggle to find a health insurance planthat is both affordable and provides the kind of coverage they need."

This policy proposal at the state level is similar tothe requirement in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,which requires that Members of Congress purchase health insurance coverage thatis offered through an Exchange.

The health insurance plans currently available to the governor, other constitutional officers and state senators have no more than a $2,000In-Network family deductible and have reasonable copays for doctor visits andprescription drugs.

However, the The Nebraska Essential Health Benefit Planchosen by Governor Heineman provides no cost-sharing assistance, except forfederally-mandated preventive services, and includes a $8,000 familydeductible.

"It is time for elected officials tostand side-by-side with our constituents in reforming the health insurance andhealth care system, instead of creating one system for policymakers and one forthose who have to live with the policy that is made," said Nordquist.