Colo. lawmakers to consider Medicaid expansion

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DENVER (AP) -- 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 Gov. John Hickenlooper's plan to expand Colorado's Medicaid program.

The bill would make single adults and parents earning less than 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 expected to fund the expansion costs until 2017, but critics have raised concerns about what happens if federal money runs out.