CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The state Senate has voted to introduce a bill that would expand the Medicaid system in Wyoming, but even the sponsor says it faces long odds of becoming law.

The Senate voted 21-9 on Friday to advance the measure sponsored by Sen. Chris Rothfuss, a Laramie Democrat.

Two other Medicaid expansion bills sponsored by the Interim Labor, Health and Social Services Committee died this week in the Senate and the House.

Rothfuss told the Senate his bill would allow Wyoming to keep its Medicaid expansion options open. But speaking after the Senate vote, Rothfuss says he is not sure his bill will get out of the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee, where it was assigned after introduction.

Committee Chairman Charles Scott, R-Casper, has been a vocal opponent of blanket Medicaid expansion.

Expanding the federal program is an essential element of the federal Affordable Care Act.