Traveling Nebraska brings new friends and new focus on health care needs

Last week, I traveled around central Nebraska, reaching out to and meeting new organizations and individuals doing outreach and enrollment work for the Affordable Care Act. I am working to expand the Enroll Nebraska coalition with the goal to make it a truly statewide network, connecting organizations to resources and to one another.

Enroll NE road trip

(L to R): Appleseed organizer Gloria Sarmiento, Aida Olivas of Nebraska Migrant Education Program, and Enroll Nebraska’s Rachel Gehringer-Wiar about to enjoy lunch in Hastings.

As I met with people along the way, I was impressed by the dedication and work happening in these areas. There are so many wonderful people and organizations working to help Nebraskans across the state understand their health care options. We were able to learn much from visiting these communities to get a better picture of the health insurance and health care access issues in our state.

In North Platte, I met with an energized group of health professionals working to establish stronger infrastructure in their community for people seeking help with their Marketplace applications. At the Lexington Regional Health Center, I spoke with an application counselor who worked to accommodate the needs of her community by offering application assistance in Spanish and extending their hours for appointments. These individuals and many more helped me better understand the infrastructure for services in central Nebraska and have helped me identify where the Enroll Nebraska coalition should focus its efforts moving forward.

I was also lucky to have our Immigrants & Communities team as my travel buddies. Through their meetings and generous introductions, I was able to connect with more local leaders working directly with communities who need access to affordable health coverage. I also love traveling with our Immigrants & Communities team because we always hit up all the best Mexican restaurants in town for meetings and meals. In Hastings, I had some of the best tacos I’ve ever had and fresh strawberries and cream.

Great people, delicious food, and beautiful spring weather made for refreshing and productive trip out west!

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