Cheyenne Democratic Senator Floyd Esquibel says he's hopeful the Legislature will expand Medicaid when it meets next year.

"I think it's just, like most things, a matter of time," said Esquibel. "There's more and more people seeing the light."

Despite a valiant effort and the backing of Governor Matt Mead, lawmakers rejected the expansion earlier this year, which would have brought an estimated $268 million to the state and covered more than 20,000 low-income residents.

"One of the arguments has been that, well if we pass it, how do we know that they're (the federal government) going to follow through," said Esquibel. "My answer to that is why get married? People get divorced, but still they get married."

"We take funds for the highways, farm subsidies and education," added Esquibel. "Who's to say that those might not stop, but we haven't been adverse to using those federal funds for the benefit of our citizens."

This is the fourth year in a row the Legislature has rejected Medicaid expansion.

"I'm disappointed," said Esquibel. "I think that's crucial for our state and our citizens."