The proposal to expand health care coverage to about 54-thousand low-income Nebraskans is dead for this year. 


Lawmakers lacked enough support to bring the measure to a vote after eight hours of debate. The bill will not be taken up again in this legislative session.


The "Wellness in Nebraska Act'' laid out a plan to help cover health care costs for about 54,000 residents through a combination of Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance. It would have cost an estimated $62 million between July of this year and June 2020.


Supporters argued the proposal would have helped rural hospitals and working Nebraskans. But opponents, who successfully blocked further consideration, said it would have diverted money away from other priorities, such as education.