Dave Heineman and health care reform hardly seem like bosom buddies.  But the Governor is going to be getting awfully cozy with the topic as a new Medicaid guidance is handed down and health care reform inches forward towards full implementation in 2014.

Dave’s first awkward encounter is with the increased family planning (aka more access to birth control) for Medicaid recipients.  A guidance from CMS clarifies a provision in health care reform that will allow expanded family planning coverage for women.  Federal funding makes this expansion possible.  Will the “pro-life” governor try to block STD treatments and IUD puncture repairs just so Medicaid recipients can’t get the pill?  We are curious.

Heineman’s love/hate relationship with health care reform continues at state-level implementation.  A new National Governors Association Report shows 19 states have created some body that will help them ease into the major reforms in 2014.  Heineman is now the Vice Chair of the NGA and is still dragging his feet.  Will he take initiative and lead? Will he apply for the $1 million planning grant? Or will he let the whole state become a Beatrice fiasco?

Dave Heineman may not like these changes, but they are part of the law.  And if he’s going to frame himself as a leader then he needs to step up instead of letting Nebraska fall behind.

Editor’s Note: We purposely put “pro-life” in quotes when referring to Governor Heineman.  If he is going to stand as a pro-life Governor, we think he needs to start living those values.  Turning his back on the prenatal bill last year was a clear example of him not living his pro-life values.