Senate Passes Bill To Increase Medicaid Coverage - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Senate Passes Bill To Increase Medicaid Coverage

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More than 20,000 North Dakotans who don't have healthcare, will now be covered.

This afternoon the North Dakota Senate passed House Bill 1362, a bill which expands Medicaid, covering more uninsured residents in the state.

The chamber passed the bill with a vote of 33-14.

Republican Senator, Judy Lee, says North Dakota has never covered childless adults under the age of 65, who don't have their own insurance.

According to the New Affordable Care Act, the full cost of expanding Medicaid will be covered by the federal government through 2016, with the state's contribution rising gradually to 10 percent.

Many Republican lawmakers don't like the new federal law, but say it's in the best interest of the state to accept it.

Lee says this bill is important in making sure uninsured North Dakotans get covered.

"We've got over 20,000 people that will now have healthcare coverage who did not have it before and that is important, they need to have care, more than just the emergency care that they can get by going to the emergency room, so we have today done as the house did a few weeks ago, we have passed a bill that will expand medicaid just up to 138 percent which is the federal minimum for individuals who are not currently covered in North Dakota," Republican Judy Lee said.

The measure will now go to Governor Jack Dalrymple who will either sign it into law, or veto it.

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