Gov. Bullock's Medicaid Expansion Bill Gets First Hearing Friday

Mar 5, 2015

Credit William Marcus

Friday, legislators hear Governor Bullock’s Medicaid expansion bill, House Bill 249. It faces an uphill battle from the start.

The committee hearing the bill Friday is controlled by Republicans, including chair Art Wittich of Bozeman, who supports the Republicans’ own version of Medicaid expansion, concentrating mostly on veterans, low-income parents and those with disabilities. That bill, House Bill 455, passed the same committee late last month, though hasn’t been heard by the whole House.

The sponsor of Bullock's bill, Democratic Representative Pat Noonan of Ramsay, says he hopes all Medicaid expansion bills get to the House floor to at least be discussed.

“I would hope all options would move forward and we would have a chance as a body to discuss all the options and decide what we think is the best option to move forward.”

Twenty-eight states have passed Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, expansion that is funded by the federal government and later funded partially by the state.