OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state House committee on Wednesday passed a bill to expand a program that assists small businesses in paying for health insurance for their employees.
Businesses with up to 25 employees now qualify for a state health care insurance subsidy under a 2004 law. The measure approved by the House Appropriations and Budget Committee extends the program to businesses with up to 50 workers.
Gov. Brad Henry, who pushed for approval of the program last year, said 20 percent of Oklahomans are without health care coverage.
"The more we can do to help provide health insurance for the currently uninsured, the more we will do to reduce business costs and the skyrocketing costs of health care," Henry said.
The Senate-passed bill now goes to the state House floor. Authors are Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, and Rep. Kris Steele, R-Shawnee.