DENVER (AP) -- Colorado is closer to expanding Medicaid for needy adults as part of the federal health care overhaul.
The state Senate voted 21-14 Monday to increase the income caps for needy adults to qualify for health assistance. The change could add some 160,000 Colorado adults to public health care assistance.
The federal government covers the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years, and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has already directed state health authorities to prepare for expansion.
Senate Republicans argued unsuccessfully that the Medicaid expansion could set up Colorado for big bills down the road. All Republicans but one voted against the expansion.
The measure now awaits consideration in the House.