It appears Medicaid expansion will be decided by Nebraska voters in November.
Secretary of State John Gale announced this afternoon that county election officials have completed reviewing the 136,791 signatures submitted by petitioners to place the issue on the ballot.
“After careful review by our counties, I can confirm that the statutory requirements for valid signatures have been met,” Gale said in a statement released by his office. “The measure will be placed on the 2018 general election ballot, barring an order from the district court handling the pending lawsuit that challenges the initiative petition.”
The Secretary of State’s Office says at least 84,269 valid signatures were required to add the petition question to the 2018 general election ballot.
“104,477 valid signatures were certified to my office, which amounted to a 74 percent acceptance rate,” according to Gale.
The petition drive also met the state criteria that more than 5% of the signatures be collected in 47 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
The Unicameral has not moved to expand Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. So, supporters have gone the initiative petition route in hopes that Nebraska voters will approve it. Under the ACA, the federal government has promised to pay 90% of the cost of Medicaid expansion. Expansion would extend Medicaid benefits to an estimated 90,000 low-income Nebraskans.