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LTE: Small carried Medicaid bill through Montana Senate

Eva Flying, Billings Gazette

The Montana Legislature finally passed House Bill 658, bill that will continue Medicaid expansion and guarantee continued health coverage for 96,000 Montanans.

HB658’s passage represents the product of months of bipartisan negotiations conducted among the working majority of Republican and Democrat legislators, clear-eyed in their commitment to a healthier Montana. Legislators from either side of the aisle had varying ideals as to what form Medicaid expansion would take moving forward, but in the end, they were able to work through their differences and emerge with a final product acceptable to both sides.

Sen. Jason Small, who carried HB658 on the Senate floor, deserves special recognition for his efforts in shepherding the legislation across the finish line. The bill’s passage through the Senate turned out to be the most delicate part of the process, and it looked at times that it would not emerge from that chamber. However, Small deftly answered questions on the bill’s finer details and made strong arguments in favor of its passage, faithfully representing his constituents and fighting hard for the betterment of all Montanans. His leadership was essential to Medicaid expansion’s successful passage.

Thank you, Sen. Jason Small. Montana is better for his service.

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