PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Republican leaders in the South Dakota Legislature say they hope federal officials will grant the state a waiver allowing expansion of the Medicaid program to provide medical services only to those people most in need.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Rave, of Baltic, says he doubts the Legislature would expand Medicaid to the full extent envisioned by the federal health care overhaul. But he says lawmakers likely will discuss seeking federal approval to extend coverage to a smaller group of low-income people.

South Dakota's Medicaid program now covers about 116,000 children, adults and disabled people. The expanded eligibility under federal guidelines would add an estimated 48,000 people, mostly adults without children.

Federal officials so far have rejected South Dakota's request for only a partial expansion of Medicaid.

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