ERA 3 State Strategy MT Medicaid Expansion Bullock says Medicaid expansion still makes sense
Friday, 15 November 2013 00:00

Bullock says Medicaid expansion still makes sense

Written by  Associated Press | The Billings Gazette
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Medicaid expansion was a major initiative of Gov. Steve Bullock during the Montana Legislature, but lawmakers rejected that path. Medicaid expansion was a major initiative of Gov. Steve Bullock during the Montana Legislature, but lawmakers rejected that path.

Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that an expansion of the state's Medicaid rolls would have brought some assurances amid the turmoil surrounding the health care law's rollout.

The governor earlier this year backed a plan to expand Medicaid to the working poor earning less than 138 percent of the poverty level. He was opposed by Republican legislative leaders, and the proposal died before lawmakers adjourned.

About half of the states, including Montana, have rejected the Medicaid expansion plans originally crafted as a mandate in the health care law, before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it optional for states.

The U.S. government would have paid for most of the expansion as part of the federal health care law's effort to get everyone covered.

Bullock said his opinion is unchanged by the problems in the implementation of other aspects of the health care law. He said Medicaid expansion would have ensured coverage for thousands.

A day earlier, President Barack Obama tried to shift authority to state insurance commissioners to approve continuation of private insurance plans being canceled with the health care law rollout. State authorities immediately cautioned that the move could make things worse by adding more confusion and costs.

But Bullock said some problems, such as outages on the federal government's online insurance marketplace, could have been alleviated with a greater state role. Montana rejected plans to run its own website under the federal law.

But Bullock said he doesn't have any plans to call a special session "anytime soon" to expand Medicaid because Republican leaders still oppose it.

"There is no sense in calling a special session until, and unless, leadership is willing," Bullock said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich says "doubling down on Medicaid" would make things worse and expose the state to future costs. He said Republicans nationally, and in other states that rejected expansion, are looking at other ways to provide health care assistance to that low-income population.

"Medicaid expansion was one of the three pillars for Obamacare. We are seeing that it is a disaster, and expansion would have also been a disaster," Wittich said. "People are trying to find these other alternatives outside Obamacare."

A coalition called the Healthy Montana Initiative has been drafting a ballot measure to ask voters in 2014 if they would like to expand Medicaid.

Link to original article from the Billings Gazette

Read 1624 times

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries.


Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Write Your Local Newspaper and say We Can Create Jobs Now

Congress has a solution for creating jobs and job training programs but the newspapers never talk about that. Government isn't broken and government can create jobs. Make sure that people in your community know that this is possible.

Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the ERA Petition


On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)


Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016


ERA 9/12 Senate Briefing

ERA - January 15th Round Table

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Rep on Jobs

If your Representative is not currently a cosponsor of HR 1000 they may not completely understand how important full employment is to your community; click on your state at the bottom of this page to see all the cosponsors in your state. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.


ERA Videos

VA State Legislature

Marena Groll
Moral Monday - Fayetteville

January 15th Progressive Round Table