HELENA – Democrats at the Montana Legislature said Thursday they’ll be sponsoring their own bill to extend Montana’s Medicaid-expansion program.
They made the announcement at a Capitol news conference and said putting together the bill will be a group effort.
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Representative Mary Caferro (D-Helena) said she’ll be requesting the bill which will extend the program — which serves about 95,000 Montanans — indefinitely. As of now, it is set to expire in June.
Republicans, who control the Legislature, say they’ll likely support extending the program, but they also want to add some reforms to target those who may need it more.
Representative Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls) says he’s working on a bill that will extend, and reform, the program. Meanwhile, Caferro says that Medicaid has been a smashing success in Montana.
“We want a totally transparent process, one that is informed by the public, informed by people who had Medicaid, by stakeholders,” Caferro said.
“So we’re inviting all folks to be involved in the process. This is just the beginning. We as Democrats are committed to preserving the health of our constituents,” she added.
The fate of Medicaid expansion is considered one of the biggest issues before the 2019 Legislature.
-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News