Supporters argued Tuesday that a failure to pass the “Wellness in Nebraska Act” would hurt rural hospitals, lead more residents to postpone treatment and deprive Nebraska of $2.2 billion in tax dollars paid to the federal government.
Opponents say it will divert money away from other priorities, such as education.
The proposal would help cover some 54,000 residents through a combination of Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance. It would cost an estimated $62 million between July of this year and June 2020.
The lead sponsor, Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, says uninsured Nebraskans are more likely to seek care when their disease is more advanced and less treatable.