Medicaid expansion passes Colo. Senate committee

DENVER - State legislators are moving forward with a plan to extend health assistance to more needy Coloradans.

A Senate committee voted 5-2 Thursday in favor of a bill to allow the state to expand Colorado's Medicaid program.

The bill would make single adults and parents earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level eligible for public health assistance. The federal government is expected to fund the expansion costs until 2017, but critics raised concerns about what happens if federal money runs out.

Republican lawmakers questioned whether it's in the state's best interest to expand what they see as a flawed program. But physicians, hospital leaders, insurers and business leaders said Medicaid is better than no insurance.

The bill now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

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Senate Bill 200: http://bit.ly/WcF0q5