Catch Up Day 23- Medicaid at 50: State Highlight: Montana

Montana covers 173,892 people through its Medicaid and CHIP programs.

I’m going to take a pass on writing something eloquent about Montana. Not because I don’t love the state (you rock, Montana!), but because back in 2013, Sarah Kliff wrote one of my favorite stories ever about Montana and Medicaid. You should check it out, but I’ll put an excerpt here, in case you are reading this without internet somehow.

Some states have declined to expand Medicaid because they oppose Obamacare. Others worry about the financial burden of expanding the entitlement. But there appears to be only one state where the Medicaid expansion failed due to a Democratic legislator accidentally voting against it.

Congratulations, Montana.

“We’re tremendously sorry about what happened,” Minority Leader Chuck Hunter, a Democrat, said of the mistaken vote. “Montanans are the losers in this outcome.”

“It kind of all happened so fast,” she recalls. “The minority leader opposed it, and I was thinking wait a second, I haven’t read the rules. I did that before the second vote and agreed, it was totally legal what he was doing. Myself and a few others switched our votes because of that.”

Since this article was written, Montana has expanded Medicaid and the advocates’ testimony and debate was among the most interesting in state politics this year. Kudos, Montana on having a very interesting legislature. I can’t wait to keep watching.


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