Nebraska backs Medicaid expansion, re-elects Republicans

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Nebraska voters have passed Initiative 427, endorsing a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage under the federal health care law.

This comes despite re-electing Republican Governor Pete Ricketts, who has been a critic of the expansion as well as a number of others who have railed against such a move.

The measure will now cover an estimated 90,000 low-income residents who earn too much to qualify for regular Medicaid but not enough to get tax subsidies available under President Barack Obama's signature law.

With 97% of the precincts reporting, 344,437 voted FOR the initiative while 302,338 voted AGAINST the initiative. There are still a few more precincts that still need to be accounted for in Saunders County.

According to the Secretary of State's website, only eight counties had more votes for the initiative than against. Those counties are Burt, Dakota, Dawes, Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Scotts Bluff and Thurston.

State officials are now required to submit a Medicaid expansion plan to the federal government for approval.

The group Nebraska Appleseed is urging state officials to faithfully execute the will of voters.