Lawmakers Start Work on Medicaid Legislation

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – Democratic lawmakers unveiled their version of Medicaid legislation during a press conference at the Montana Capitol Thursday.

As Tim Pierce reports for the UM Legislative News Service, Helena Representative Mary Caferro is sponsoring the Keep Montana Health Act, which would essentially extend the program that first passed in 2015. But, Caferro says she want the process to be open and to get public input on the extension.

Caferro also said she wants to keep work or volunteer requirements, both of which Republicans have suggested, out of the new legislation.

“Montanans who have Medicaid are working, whether they are employed, in college or are caregivers.”

Republican Representative Ed Buttrey of Great Falls is currently drafting his own bill on Medicaid expansion. In his bill, people who are on Medicaid need to reach a quota of what he calls “community benefit.” Buttrey says this is a long list of different actions people can take.

“If patients are benefiting from it, then they should have some skin in the game as well.”

Nearly 100,000 Montanans are insured under the program.

Copyright © New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.