HELENA — The Montana House of Representatives has given an initial green light to a Medicaid expansion proposal that has been called the most conservative in the nation.
The House voted 54-46 to endorse the amended measure on second reading Thursday with 13 Republicans and all 41 Democrats supporting it. If Senate Bill 405 passes third reading, it will go back to the Senate for amendment approval.
Republican Rep. Rob Cook of Conrad brought the bill to the floor for sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls. Cook also offered the only successful amendment, which appropriates funds to state departments for implementing a jobs clause of the bill.
Under the measure, federal funds would be accepted to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income people but would require them to pay premiums and co-payments.
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