Bipartisan Medicaid Expansion Fails on Accidental Vote

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Backers of a plan to use federal money to help the working poor buy insurance say defeat is near certain after a legislator accidentally voted the wrong way.

The compromise plan to use Medicaid money to expand health care coverage through private insurers had been lurching toward approval with the backing of Democrats and some Republicans.

Conservative GOP leaders strongly opposed the plan.

On Friday, conservative leaders beat back the measure in a couple of procedural House votes — including one where the accidental incorrect vote by Democratic Rep. Tom Jacobson proved the difference maker.

Afterward, House Minority Leader Chuck Hunter was resigned to defeat.

He says Republican leaders had successfully stuffed the bill into a committee that will lock it up until next week’s anticipated close of the session.

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