Medicaid expansion bill does not pass

By: KLKN Newsroom

A third attempt to expand Nebraska Medicaid coverage under the federal health care law has failed.

Lawmakers voted 28-16 on Wednesday to bracket the bill, effectively killing it for the rest of this year.

Expanding Medicaid would have helped cover roughly 79,600 people in Nebraska by 2020, according to the latest estimates by the Legislature’s Fiscal Office. 

Had it passed, Nebraska would have joined 28 other states and the District of Columbia in offering expanded coverage.

Senators who opposed the bill cast it as an unaffordable expansion of government. Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts also criticized the measure.

The lead sponsor, Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, says she’ll keep looking at options for future years.