MTPR

Mary Caferro

Gov. Steve Bullock is joined by Rep. Mary Caferro, a Democrat from Helena, and Rep. Ed Buttrey, a Republican from Great Falls, and other lawmakers for the signing of HB 658, May 9, 2019. The bill reauthorizes the state's Medicaid expansion program.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

New analysis from the state health department shows the new Medicaid work requirements set to take effect on Jan. 1 will apply to more Montanans than expected — up to three times more.

Today's action at the state Legislature notched up tension over one of the 2019 legislative session’s biggest debates. This morning a group of conservative Republicans voted to stall in a committee the bill to continue Medicaid expansion in the state.

A policy to continue Medicaid expansion in Montana has passed its first vote in the state Legislature. The bill includes what some are labeling as work requirements for so-called able-bodied adults enrolled in the program.

The House Human Services committee voted 11-8 Tuesday evening to approve a heavily amended House Bill 658, carried by Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey.

Corin Cates-Carney

While much of the state was enjoying a sunny St. Patrick’s Day, state lawmakers and scores of people concerned about health care spent all day Saturday inside the state Capitol debating two competing visions for the future of Medicaid expansion in Montana.

Montana's 2019 biennium budget by function.
Legislative Fiscal Division

Health care programs devastated following the state’s budget collapse over the last two years are getting pieced back together.

State lawmakers Wednesday gave initial approval for a new plan for public health spending in Montana, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s total budget.

Montana Hospitals Agree To Help Fund Medicaid Expansion

Feb 8, 2019
Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.
Courtesy Montana State Hospital

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana hospitals have agreed to pay a fee to help fund Medicaid expansion as the state's share of the cost of the health care coverage increases, an official with the Montana Hospital Association said Thursday.

Rep. Mary Caferro, D-Helena. File photo.
Montana Legislature

Montana Democrats formally introduced their bill Thursday to continue Medicaid expansion in the state. However, it's unclear if it will win any support from the Republican majority.

In offering the so-called Keep Montana Healthy Act, Democrats say they will resist any significant changes to Medicaid expansion, which currently extends health coverage to around 95,000 low-income adults in the state.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A day after the long-anticipated Republican plan to continue Medicaid expansion was revealed, House Democrats reacted with strong criticism.

"Frankly, right now, I don’t know what there is to negotiate about,” says Casey Schreiner, the Democratic House minority leader.

Democratic House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner announced the party’s bill to continue Medicaid expansion in Montana, Jan. 10, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Democrats announced their plan for the future of Montana’s Medicaid expansion program Thursday. It’s one of two different visions competing for support in the Capitol.

The Keep Montana Healthy Act is Democrat’s offer to extend Medicaid expansion past its expiration date in June.

Health officials have now confirmed 92 whooping cough cases in the Missoula area.
iStock.

Pieces of the state budget that fell apart over the last year and a half are starting to get put back together. Last week, Governor Steve Bullock released a plan that outlined $45 million in budget restorations now that the state has collected more revenue than was forecast last year.

Most of the restorations are going to the state health department, which took the biggest budget cuts in January and reduced services for the poor, elderly and disabled.

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