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Dayton expected to sign bill expanding federal health care for Minnesota's poor

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The Minnesota Senate voted 45-22 Thursday to move about 35,000 poor Minnesotans off state-based health care programs and into Medicaid, known in the state as the Medical Assistance program, the Star Tribune reports.

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill into law within days, the newspaper reports.

The changes would also offer Medicaid coverage to thousands of other Minnesotans who have health insurance through the state's MinnesotaCare program, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ultimately, the change could affect 80,000 low-income Minnesotans, the Star Tribune notes.

The legislation could save the state up to $129 million over two years, beginning in July.

Republicans have complained that the move further burdens a federal government already deeply in debt and unable to pay for the program in the long term, MPR reported.

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