Lawmakers to consider Medicaid expansion for low-income Coloradans Thursday

DENVER - State legislators are taking the first steps toward offering health assistance to more needy Coloradans.

A Senate committee will hear a bill Thursday that would allow the state to proceed with Governor John Hickenlooper's plan to expand Colorado's Medicaid program.

The bill would make single adults and parents earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level eligible for public health assistance.

The expansion would extend health care aid to an estimated 160,000 low-income adults who don't receive it now.

Hickenlooper proposed the expansion in January.

The federal government is supposed to fund a portion of the expansion costs until 2017, but critics have raised concerns about what happens if federal money runs out.

Click here to read the full text of Senate Bill 200.