Medicaid expansion bill nears finish line

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s Medicaid expansion program is one state House vote away from continuing for another six years.
The House voted 87-13 Thursday to accept the Senate’s amendments to the bill that would keep alive the program that provides health care for about 96,000 low-income Montanans.
It needs a final vote before going to Gov. Steve Bullock, who is expected to sign it.
The bill by Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey adds work requirements, strengthenes an asset test, increases premiums for people who remain on the program for more than two years and requires Hutterite colonies to pay the state’s share of coverage for their members.
It also adds a tax on hospitals to leverage more federal funding and sets a June 2025 expiration date.
The bill gained two dozen votes since the original version passed the House 61-37 last month.