Health care advocates are urging Nebraska lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage as part of the federal health care law, while the state's Medicaid chief says the program is too expensive.
The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would extend coverage to thousands of residents.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the Medicaid expansion required under the Affordable Care Act is optional for states. Gov. Dave Heineman stands opposed to the proposal, saying he worries about the program's costs.
The federal government has agreed to pay 100 percent of the cost for newly insured Medicaid recipients from 2014 to 2016, and then ratchet down its contribution to 90 percent.
Heineman says lawmakers should wait until the potential costs are better understood.