MTPR

Medicaid expansion

Montana Senate President Scott Sales, left, and House Speaker Austin Knudsen, both Republicans, are on opposite sides of the call for a special session
Corin Cates-Carney


Montana lawmakers have a little less than two weeks to decide whether to come back to Helena for a special legislative session, potentially the second in eight months.

“It’s going to be a very heavy lift to get the 76 votes,” Senate President Scott Sales said.

Montana capitol, Helena.
Jackie Yamanaka

Ballots for Montana state lawmakers to vote on convening a special legislative session were dropped in the mail today, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The proposal for a special session comes from Republican legislative leaders who want to pass referendums that could compete with citizen-initiated ballot issues seeking to re-authorize and fund Medicaid Expansion and change mining regulations.

The percentages of Americans and Montanans without health insurance 2009-2016
Montana Healthcare Foundation

A report being released today says Montana’s uninsured rate is staying steady at about half of what it was before Medicaid expansion started in 2016. It says just under eight percent of Montanans now lack health insurance.

And, one of the studies outlines what it says are clear benefits to the state as voters and state lawmakers are considering whether to end Medicaid expansion.

Kristin Page-Nei, one of the authors of I-185, speaks in support of the initiative in Helena, April 19, 2018. The ballot initiative proposes increasing tobacco taxes to raise money for health care programs, including Medicaid expansion.
Corin-Cates Carney

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides more than 93,000 people in the state health coverage, expires in just over a year. Campaigns are now underway to stop that from happening and to lobby support for the health care program.

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2)

The Trump administration this week released almost $500 million to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. 

Montana’s share of that federal funding from Health and Human Services is $2 million, the same amount it received last year.

Pages