GOP bill shifts millions in costs to Montana

HELENA, Mont. - Montana officials estimate the state would have to pay an extra $126 million a year to continue its Medicaid expansion program under federal legislation proposed to replace the Affordable Care Act.

About 71,000 people have signed up for Medicaid since Montana expanded its program under President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

The proposed Republican legislation would reduce the federal match that pays for Medicaid expansion services after 2020 from 90 percent to about 65 percent. Gov. Steve Bullock's spokeswoman, Ronja Abel, says state would have to make up the difference.

Abel says the governor's budget office estimates that 34,000 of the 200,000 people now covered by Medicaid would lose coverage over the next decade.

Securities and Insurance Commissioner Matthew Rosendale's office has not analyzed how many people would lose coverage because of other provisions in the federal legislation.

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