Legislative Bill 577 would offer health coverage to thousands of low-income adults as part of the federal health care law. Heated debates are expected from those who oppose the idea.
"This will ensure all Nebraskans across the state and not have 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans left in a gap of coverage," said State Senator Kathy Campbell of Lincoln who introduced the bill.
“This is an opportunity to make a smart investment in our state's economy and workforce,” she added. “A healthy work force depends on access to health care.”
Campbell introduced the bill with 11 co-sponsors.
The governor has argued that Nebraska cannot afford the Medicaid expansion without raising taxes or cutting state spending on education.
"If we don't do Medicaid Expansion, we are going to be in a world of hurt in our hospital system all over Nebraska," said Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha.
If states go along with the Federal Healthcare plan they would be one hundred percent funded by the U.S. Government. It would amount to $784 million.
"I am one of the state's leaders that believes we would be negligent of our sworn duty if we do not bring these dollars home," said Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha.