RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Senate has given initial approval to a wide-ranging health care access bill penned by Republicans that would include Medicaid expansion, which GOP lawmakers in the chamber had opposed for years.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for the measure, which would provide Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of adults who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid.

The bill represents a dramatic turn for the prospects for expansion.

But the odds appear long that the House will take up the measure before the annual work session ends in about a month.

A final Senate vote will occur Thursday.