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Medicaid expansion vote delayed

Posted: 1:05 PM, Mar 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-23 15:05:24-04

HELENA – The first committee vote on the bills to continue Medicaid expansion in Montana has been delayed.

The House Human Services Committee had been scheduled to vote Friday on the two bills that would continue the $800 million-per-year program, which provides government-funded health coverage for nearly 100,000 low-income adults in Montana.

But Chairman Dennis Lenz of Billings told MTN the votes have been delayed until at least Monday or Tuesday, at the latest.

Lenz said the committee has yet to see a fiscal analysis on one of the bills and that amendments for at least one of the bills are still being prepared.

The bills are sponsored by Democrat Mary Caferro of Helena and Republican Ed Buttrey of Great Falls.

The committee is facing a Wednesday deadline to complete its votes on any spending bills, including the Medicaid measures.

Medicaid expansion is one of the biggest issues of the 2019 session, with a two-year price-tag of more than $1.5 billion.

-Reported by Mike Dennison/MTN News