Committee Hearing Set for Medicaid Expansion

Governors bill to expand Medicaid to go before House Human Services Committee next month

By Tristan Scott

HELENA — The governor’s bill to expand Medicaid to 70,000 low-income Montanans finally has a date with a legislative committee.

Democratic Rep. Pat Noonan of Ramsay will present House Bill 249 on March 6 before the House Human Services Committee.

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock proposed the expansion bill in January, saying Montana must make health insurance available for those who struggle to make ends meet.

The Republican-led Legislature rejected Bullock’s expansion proposal in 2013, saying they don’t trust federal promises to continue to pay most of the costs.

Republican lawmakers this session are giving the bill a chilly reception. They have countered with three bills that would expand Medicaid to far fewer people and say it keeps Medicaid for society’s most vulnerable. The first two of those bills are set for hearings on Wednesday.


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