Legislative Report

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We still have a few house bills that will be worked across to the Senate soon. The committee meetings have been going late to take care of business. There will still be a few bills dropped in the house hopper before the deadline.

One big issue that will be discussed on executive action in Health and Human Services Committee will be the two Medicaid Expansion bills that were given a hearing a week ago. One bill is an extension of the last version implemented in 2015 and the other bill is a reform of the last version. Whether you personally are in favor of Medicaid Expansion or not, it is needed to help maintain the rural critical care access hospitals we have in Mineral and Sanders Counties.

The past program has generated several thousand additional jobs in Montana and several hundred million dollars of income. The number of participants in our counties is higher than many might even realize. The reason the original medicaid expansion had a sunset was to reevaluate the program. That was designed to sort through problems the original bill had. This was a very thoughtful process and the discussion of the reforms from lessons learned, failed ideas, and good results is the proper way to success in any endeavor.

I feel we will see an updated, very thoughtful, efficient and progressive, successful reform of Medicaid come out of this legislative session. Reform with integrity can never be a bad idea. Please watch our progress and don’t hesitate to contact me. I may not always be able to respond due to the heavy schedule but I will read the message or hear it.

—Rep. Denley M. Loge denleylogehd14@gmail.com or 544-5220

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