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Medicaid petition

Randy Moody leads a group of supporters, volunteers and members of the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative committee as they deliver boxes of signed petitions to a conference room in July.

Omaha billionaires Warren Buffett and Walter Scott each contributed $200,000 to Nebraska's Medicaid expansion initiative campaign in mid-October.

The contributions were listed in the latest campaign finance report filed with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission by Insure the Good Life, sponsors of the petition drive that placed the initiative on next Tuesday's general election ballot.

The newest campaign finance report shows about $2.6 million in expenditures with about $248,000 in cash on hand as of Oct. 22. 

The proposal would extend Medicaid coverage to an estimated 90,000 adult Nebraskans, nearly all of whom work at jobs that earn them less than $17,000 a year.

Those Nebraskans do not qualify for Medicaid assistance now and cannot afford to purchase health care insurance on their own.

Supporters argue that the proposal would bring more than a billion dollars in federal funding flowing into the state during the first three years while providing needed health care and generating economic opportunity.

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That infusion of funding would create and sustain jobs while securing the future of rural hospitals and clinics throughout the state, supporters contend.

Opponents argue that the state matching fund costs would take money away from other state programs or services or even threaten benefits for current recipients.

State matching fund costs are estimated to total $90.8 million over the first three years. 

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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