Rosendale to feds: Send state block grants to deal with Medicaid expansion

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By: Holly Michels

Montana’s Commissioner of Security and Insurance wants to see the state’s Medicaid expansion administered through block grants, which he argues gives states more control.

Matt Rosendale, who was elected to the state Auditor and Commissioner of Security and Insurance last November, made the recommendations earlier this week in a letter sent to Montana’s two senators, Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester, along with Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the House committee that would have heard House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare…

Rosendale argued by giving states more control over what can be done with Medicaid expansion money, legislatures like Montana’s could “develop more efficient and effective health care delivery reforms to protect those in need.”

“Montana solutions are better than one-size-fits all mandates from Washington,” Rosendale said Thursday. “”The people in Washington, D.C., are not going to be able to provide the solutions for the entire nation.”

Rosendale floated a few possible ideas for how to use potential block grants, including funneling some of the money into health savings accounts for people to choose how to spend.

“If we have the ability for those dollars to transfer down in the form of HSAs, that provides the incentive to get out there and shop (for the least-expensive medical care),” he said. “The people of Montana can do better for themselves and their families than any legislative body.”

On Thursday a working group that is aiming to prepare Montana for whatever might happen at the federal level met to discuss the American Health Care Act. The group includes Democratic and Republican legislators, as well as industry representatives. Rosendale stressed to the group that the federal legislation will change as it works its way through Congress.

Read more at the Missoulian