Supporters of a new bill to expand Medicaid in Nebraska are calling on lawmakers to act on the proposal this year.
Advocates packed a legislative hearing on Wednesday to voice support for the proposal, an optional piece of the federal health care law. A similar measure was blocked last year.
Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln says the bill would give working, low-income Nebraskans better access to quality health care. The federal government has promised to pay at least 90 percent of the costs for newly eligible residents.
Department of Health and Human Services CEO Kerry Winterer says the bill would increase the cost of the state's current Medicaid program, which covers an average of 241,000 individuals a month at a yearly cost of $1.8 billion.