MTPR

Medicaid Reform and Integrity Act

Montana Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The long-contested bill to continue Medicaid expansion with new work and public service requirements for some of the people receiving benefits has cleared the Montana Legislature and is heading to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk.

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 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.

Rep. Ed Buttrey (R) - Great Falls
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A new proposal to continue Montana's Medicaid expansion program surfaced at the state Capitol Wednesday. It offers the first peek at the eagerly anticipated Republican bill to modify Medicaid expansion in the state. That's the program that extends health coverage to around 95,000 low income Montanans.

Montana Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Corin Cates-Carney joins us now to talk about it.

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