Expanding Health Care Coverage is a Smart Investment

Hard-working Montana families need the security of quality health care. A bill in the legislature, HB 458, could help 69,000 Montanans gain that security. These people are your neighbors - farmers and ranchers, small business owners, retirees, and entrepreneurs that don’t get health insurance from their employers.

HB 458 would expand Montana’s Medicaid program, and create an estimated 12,000 to 16,000 jobs over the next 8 years. Over $2 billion would return to Montana’s economy in that same time period as a result of increased economic activity in the health sector.

If you have an emergency, you want help nearby. The financial security of our rural hospitals and clinics depends on expanding health insurance to more Montanans. Over 25% of rural Montanans are uninsured, and the pressure of providing unpaid care means more rural hospitals and clinics are in danger of closing.

Right now, Montana already pays hospitals for 30% of their unpaid patient care. In other words, we're already paying for the uninsured, so they might as well have the security and better health that comes with insurance.

To top it off, 100% of the cost is covered thru 2016 to expand Medicaid. This amount will gradually decrease permanently to 90%. Between the additional revenue from a stronger health sector and the savings Montana will see due to less unpaid care, HB 458 could actually save the state money.

Expanding health care coverage through HB 458 makes good sense and is a smart investment in Montana’s future.