Nebraska voters approve a ballot measure that expands Medicaid coverage to an estimated 90,000 of its working poor, despite similar measures being routinely defeated in the legislature.
The measure passed with 53% percent of the vote and State Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln says that should serve as a reminder to critics expanded coverage is something Nebraskans want.
“This initiative has been a bipartisan effort from the beginning,” says Morfeld. “We wouldn’t have won this without a lot of conservatives, a lot of Republicans supporting it and I think it sends a clear message to the Governor and the legislature.”
State Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln says when lawmakers reconvene for the next legislative session they’ll have to budget for expansion, a process he says will be less difficult now than before the midterms for several reasons.
“It looks like the legislature is going to be a more moderate legislature than the last two years, so I that’s good,” says Morfeld. “Second, I think people will be more reasonable on the issue in the legislature because the people have passed it and the people have spoken”
Thirdly, Morfeld says when it comes to payment; new revenues generated from online sales taxes could potentially pay for the first year of expansion twice over.
Morfeld says when the legislature comes back in session; lawmakers will have to budget for the expansion before turning in their plan for approval by the federal government by April 15th.
Once approved, expansion can begin taking effect on the state level.