Medicaid expansion bill fails

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Updated: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 05:46:57 CST

Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska suffered another loss today. After hours of debate by law makers, the bill failed to get enough votes to override a filibuster. Law makers voted 27 to 21, effectively killing the bill this session.

The Wellness in Nebraska Act deals with Medicaid expansion. It combines Medicaid, private insurance, wellness incentives, and cost sharing to cover Nebraskans with income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Senator Kathy Campbell says the measure would provide health care coverage to around 54,000 uninsured and underinsured individuals.

Federal funds would cover 100 percent of costs from 2014 to 2016, and would decrease incrementally to 90 percent starting in 2020. Opponents of the bill say they don't expect the federal government to follow through with their promise. A similar bill on Medicaid expansion failed last year.