Medicaid Expansion Gets Hearing at Capitol

Compromise bill receives hearing before same committee that killed Governor's bill

By Tristan Scott

HELENA — A compromise Medicaid expansion bill is getting a hearing in front of the same tough Republican committee that killed the governor’s plan.

Sponsored by Republican Ed Buttrey of Great Falls, Senate Bill 405 will be presented in the House Human Services Committee at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Capitol.

The Montana Senate passed the measure touted as a compromise on March 30. Buttrey introduced the bill after Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s proposal to expand Medicaid was defeated in March.

The Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act would accept federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income people but would require them to pay premiums and co-payments. Enrollees would also be asked to participate in a workplace assessment survey designed to help people obtain better-paying jobs