Heineman Says Nebraska Medicaid Bill 'Should Not Pass'


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Gov. Dave Heineman says a proposal to expand Medicaid in Nebraska as part of the federal health care law should not pass.

The Republican governor repeated his opposition during a news conference on Monday, one day before lawmakers start first-round debate on the bill.

Heineman says a proposal to add a sunset date to the bill wouldn't help control costs, because such sunsets are often removed later.

The bill would extend Medicaid coverage to an estimated 54,000 residents. The federal government would pay the program's full cost for the first three years, and then its contribution would ratchet down to 90 percent.

Heineman says the expansion is unaffordable. He argues that it would eventually pull state tax dollars away from other needs, such as education.