MTPR

Two Medicaid Expansion Opponents Named To State Oversight Committee

May 29, 2015

Governor Steve Bullock and Legislative leaders named their picks for the 9-member panel that will oversee the roll-out of Medicaid coverage for Montana’s working poor. The oversight committee includes two opponents of Medicaid Expansion.

Those opponents are Representative Art Wittich of Bozeman and Senator Bob Keenan of Big Fork. Both are Republicans.

The two Democratic members are Representive Pat Noonan of Ramsey and Senator Mary Caferro of Helena.

Also Friday afternoon, the Bullock Administration named its five members. They are John Goodnow the CEO of Benefis Health System in Great Falls; Jesse Laslovich the chief legal counsel for the state Auditor; Doctor David Mark of Bighorn Valley Health Center in Hardin; Cherie Taylor the CEO of Northern Rockies Medical Center in Cut Bank; and Bullock’s health policy advisor Tara Veazey.

The oversight committee is part of Senate Bill 405, also known as the HELP Act. It’s awaiting approval from the federal government because in exchange for accepting Medicaid expansion, Montana’s law would require co-pays and premiums from participants. It also has a component to help participants with job training in the hopes they will be able to leave the Medicaid rolls.

The oversight committee has numerous duties, including reviewing how the law is being carried out and looking for ways to reduce waste and fraud.

Notably absent as a voting member on the panel is the law’s sponsor, Republican Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls; but Bullock named Buttrey as an ex-officio member.