Dave Heineman

Backers optimistic Medicaid plan will make Nebraska ballot

Organizers of a petition drive to expand Medicaid in Nebraska say they are making progress toward placing the issue on the November general election ballot, thanks in part to a national group that successfully championed a similar effort in Maine last year.

The Insure the Good Life campaign has already passed the minimum signature threshold in Nebraska's two largest counties — Douglas and Lancaster — and is sending volunteers to collect signatures in more rural areas, said campaign manager Meg Mandy.

Organizers need about 85,000 signatures by July 5 to qualify. They must also gather signatures from at least 5 percent of the registered voters in 38 of Nebraska's 93...