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Republican lawmakers want work requirement for Medicaid

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Republican lawmakers want Montana to require able-bodied adults to work in order to qualify for health insurance under Medicaid expansion.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas of Stevensville is one of 67 lawmakers who signed a letter to Gov. Steve Bullock asking for him to apply for a federal waiver so Montana could enact a work requirement.

Thomas tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that Medicaid expansion was intended to be a short-term tool and requiring recipients to work at least 20 hours a week will reduce dependence on government programs.

Bullock argues the state should continue with its voluntary work or training program, which waives premiums and co-payments for some as an incentive for participation. He said a work requirement would cost more to administer.

Three states have a work requirement and others are seeking waivers.

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