Medicaid Expansion is Being Debated by 2019 Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – Governor Steve Bullock says he wants to shift the conversation on Medicaid expansion this legislative session, which has been a contentious topic between Democrats and Republicans.

Shaylee Ragar with the UM Legislative News Service reports that at a press conference Tuesday, Bullock presented a study from the Montana Departments of Revenue and Labor & Industry. Bullock used the study to outline how Medicaid expansion has benefited businesses and the economy since it passed in 2015.

“In almost three out of five businesses in our state, those businesses rely on Medicaid expansion to provide healthcare for some portion of their employees.”

Republicans say they are still hesitant about the size of the program. Speaker of the House Greg Hertz, a Republican from Polson, says making Medicaid expansion sustainable and affordable will be a main concern.

“I think the goal of a lot of legislator is to try to continue the Medicaid expansion program but to put some sideboards on it.”

Hertz says adding work requirements, asset and drug testing are ideas floating around that could contain enrollment in the program.


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