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Montana Dems not giving up on Medicaid expansion after bill fail - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana Dems not giving up on Medicaid expansion after bill fails

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HELENA - After seven hours of testimony and debate on Friday, committee members killed off the Healthy Montana plan by a vote of 10 to 7.

Democratic leaders have expressed disappointment over the decision since then.

House Minority Leader Chuck Hunter said on Saturday before thousands of Democrats "Mark my words: We are going to pass Medicaid expansion.".

House Bill 249 aims to provide 70,000 Montanans with "affordable health coverage."

Republican leaders say the bill supports big government and would hurt the state's economy down the line.

Representative Pat Noonan, who introduced HB 249 says compromise and negotiation is the next step, but so far he hasn't seen any such initiative made by Republicans.

"It will be a sad day if our representatives can ignore the overwhelming support," Noonan said.

"Would you rather have a Republican bill be passed," an MTN News reporter asked.

"I would rather just a bill be passed. I don't care whose name is on it. I don't care who gets credit for it. I want to help the people in the gap. " 

Noonan says its unknown if House Bill 249 will be revived by blasting it to the floor or by other means.

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