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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Gov. Bullock Praises Economic Benefits Of Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Bullock signs the Medicaid expansion plan into law, April 29, 2015 at the state Capitol. The bill's sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey, and supporter Stephanie Wallace look on.
Steve Jess
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Gov. Bullock signs the Medicaid expansion plan into law, April 29, 2015 at the state Capitol. The bill's sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey, and supporter Stephanie Wallace look on.

Governor Steve Bullock is praising a new report outlining the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion in Montana. The program expanding health insurance coverage for people with low incomes is set to expire next year unless it’s reauthorized by state lawmakers.

The report written by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research says the ripple effect of Medicaid expansion generates more than $350 million in new spending in the state’s economy each year. 

The Democratic Governor held a press conference in the Capitol Wednesday to push support for the program, which was sponsored by a Republican state senator in 2015.

"This model and the evidence of its success comes at such an extremely important time, not just in our state, but indeed in our country."

Montana’s Medicaid expansion is primed to be one of the biggest agenda items debated in the 2019 legislative session.

Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a ballot initiative proposed by the Montana Hospital Association and American Heart Association that will increase the tax on tobacco to pay for the state’s Medicaid expansion program.

Read the entire BBER report on the Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Montana.

Editor’s note: Montana Public Radio has received funding for healthcare coverage from the Montana Healthcare Foundation, and is a broadcast service of the University of Montana. 

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