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Report: Medicaid expansion brings money to Mont. economy

A new report says that expansion of Medicaid largely paid for with federal money would boost Montana's economy.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing that the state expand Medicaid to about 60,000 more residents with money offered under the federal health care law. The state's share of this expansion would be a small fraction of the overall cost, about $5 million.

The proposal is being eyed with skepticism by Republican legislators. They argue the federal funding could dry up in future years and leave the state with the choice of either paying the bills or cutting people from the program after they become accustomed to it.

A University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Affairs economist says in a 50-page report released Saturday that the federal money attached to expansion would lead to 5,300 new jobs next year.

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