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Nebraska to expand Medicaid to cover postpartum care for low-income mothers


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lower-income new mothers will get a full year of Medicaid health care coverage in Nebraska under an order issued Wednesday by Republican Gov. Jim Pillen.

The move makes Nebraska the latest in a growing list of Republican-led states that had previously refused to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage beyond the minimum 60 days after women give birth. Conservatives are now largely embracing the change as part of an anti-abortion agenda in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade, which for 50 years guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

Since that ruling, the Nebraska Legislature enacted a 12-week abortion ban, and Pillen has promised to push for a six-week ban next year.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to expand Medicaid’s postpartum coverage to at least six months. Pillen said his order of a full year of coverage is “a significant step in supporting Nebraska’s mothers and children.” Other states that have expanded the coverage this year while also enforcing strict abortion bans include Mississippi and Missouri.

“This decision ensures that nearly 5,000 mothers across our state will maintain access to a comprehensive range of behavioral and physical health services,” Pillen said. “Our children are the future of this state, and we are dedicated to providing the strongest possible support system to help them thrive.”