Issues End Mass Criminalization 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 1652 times

End Mass Criminalization Articles

Brave New Foundation - For Profit Prisons

Brave New Foundation For Profit Prisons

Henry Rollins narrates the Prison Profiteers video series profiling the powerful institutions benefiting from locking up too many people for too long. See all the vids and take action here: #prisonprofiteers

Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.

Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.
The Get-Rich-Quick Plan That’s Actually Killing People
Could Anyone Possibly Think This Phone Company Isn’t Horrible?
Sometimes Cops Find Your Stolen Car. Sometimes Cops Stole It.

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail If You’re Rich?
We’re Being Robbed But The People Doing It Will Never Go To Prison
Mistreating People + Lobbying = More Money

PDA In Your State

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number



Like End Mass Criminalization on Facebook

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently a supporter, they may not be aware that the legislation exists. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request for support. 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.


School to Prison Pipeline

Abolish the SHU - CA Legislative Testimony

50 Years After I Have a Dream - We Have a New Dream Ending Mass Incarceration

Do You Think Mass Incarceration Matters? Depends Who You Are.

Dream Defenders Demand End to Racial Profiling, School to Prison Pipeline, End Stand Your Ground

Mother of CA Prisoner On Hunger Strike: The System Is Designed to Drive You Insane