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Ricketts: Medicaid expansion must come from existing budget

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is promising to follow the
will of voters who chose to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law, but warning that he will oppose any effort to pay for it with tax increases.

The Republican governor said Wednesday the measure will have to be covered by existing state tax revenue, even if that means less money for K-12 schools, roads or lowering property taxes.

Ricketts made the comments as he outlined his general plans for the next four years after winning a second term in Tuesday’s election.
It’s unclear exactly how much the expansion will cost, but estimates have ranged from $40 million to $69 million annually for the state’s share. The federal government will pay 90 percent of the total cost.

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