With the defeat of I-185, the measure to fund Medicaid expansion through higher cigarette taxes, all eyes are now on the Montana Legislature to extend the program, which is due to sunset in 2019.

Republican Brad Tschida appeared on Talk Back this week to address the issue.

“We will talk about some measurements and sideboards this session, and that would be to look at asset testing and means testing because there are people coming into our state to use our Medicaid who have a lot of money,” said Tschida, who won reelection in House District 97. “We need to look at a work requirement because half of the 100,000 folks are able bodied childless adults who can go out and work and who can work for employers who can provide healthcare as a benefit, or who can pay a high enough wage that they can purchase their own healthcare.”

Tschida also recommended drug testing for Medicaid recipients, and explains why.

“We should look at drug testing for those that receive that benefit,” he said. “I shouldn’t be a case where somebody that gets money out of the pockets of taxpayers that may be in need of services that could be helped by programs to treat the effects of opiod or other drug addictions.”

Tschida admitted the difficulty, even with Republican majorities in both the Montana House and Senate, of getting such legislation passed without a veto from Democrat Governor Steve Bullock who lobbied hard for I-185.

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