- Associated Press - Friday, April 5, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on Montana’s Medicaid expansion bill (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Hours after a Senate committee tabled a bill that would continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, the full Senate assigned it to another committee.

Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey says he expects Senate Finance and Claims will discuss the bill’s costs on Monday. He believes he has enough support in that committee to move the bill to the Senate floor.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee tabled the bill after a hearing Friday morning.

Republican Sen. Jason Small, a co-sponsor and committee member, says he moved to table the bill because he believed conservative Republicans on the panel would do so anyway.

The bill has 27 Republican sponsors, including nine in the Senate. Combined with 20 Senate Democrats, it appears the bill should have enough votes to pass the Senate.

The program provides health care insurance for about 96,000 low-income Montanans.

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11:50 a.m.

A legislative committee has tabled a bill to continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, but supporters planned to ask the full Senate to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote.

The program funded mostly by federal money provides health care insurance for about 96,000 low-income residents.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee tabled the bill after a hearing Friday morning. Republican Sen. Jason Small, a member of the committee, said he would ask the Senate to bypass the committee, but he wasn’t sure when.

Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey’s bill would continue the Medicaid expansion program while adding a work requirement, improving an asset test, increasing hospital taxes to leverage more federal funding and requiring that recipients be Montana residents.

Hutterite colonies have also agreed to pay the state’s share of coverage for about 2,500 members.

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This story has been updated to correct that Small is a senator.

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