Senate Blasts Medicaid Expansion Bill to Floor for Debate

The measure would accept money from the federal government for expanding Medicaid eligibility

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — Senators have voted to blast a Republican lawmaker’s Medicaid expansion bill out of committee and to the floor for debate.

The motion passed by a 28-22 vote on Thursday.

Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls introduced Senate Bill 405 last week, touting it as a compromise bill.

The measure would accept money from the federal government for expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income Montanans, but requires them to pay premiums each month as well as co-payments for certain services.

Those who enroll would also be asked to participate in a workplace assessment survey designed to help people obtain higher-paying jobs.

Buttrey estimates about 45,000 Montanans would enroll in the program in the next four years.

The measure is set for a second reading floor debate and a vote on Friday.

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