Excellence in Voting March 24, 2019
n 2016, a longtime Montana senator had a prediction: Medicaid expansion was done.
It had been a month since the nation learned Donald Trump would be president. The president-elect continued his campaign rally cry to unravel the Obama-era health law called the Affordable Care Act.
That law made it possible for Montana to expand Medicaid to connect the state’s working poor to health coverage. The 2015 Montana Legislature did so through the Help Act, which became law without a vote to spare on the pitch people need to be healthy to be independent.
A year into the program, those who voted down the idea still weren’t sold. The nationwide health reform debate wrapped uncertainty around whether Montana’s expansion would last its four-year test.