Montanans for Health Care Releases Health Care Report

Release Date: 



John Crabtree,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010

or Molly Moody, Montanans for Health Care, Phone: (406) 529.8497

Billings, MT - A report released today provides evidence of the crushing impact of health care costs on Montana's businesses and families.
Montanans for Health Care, a state affiliate of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), released the report, which finds that skyrocketing health care costs are burdening Montana state and local government budgets, deterring economic development, overwhelming businesses, and making it difficult for families to afford adequate health care.

"We cannot get Montana's economy moving again if we don't fix health care now," said Dr. Rev. Jim Herron, Senior Minister of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Billings. "In order to truly get Montana back on track we need comprehensive, national health care reform, and we need it now. Current health care costs are unsustainable, and we just cannot afford to wait anymore."

According to HCAN (, their national grassroots campaign of more than 700 organizations represents 30 million people, including doctors, nurses, community organizations, small business owners, faith-based groups, people of color, seniors, children's and women's rights groups, and labor unions fighting to win quality, affordable health care in 2009. HCAN also lists President Barack Obama and more than 180 Members of Congress among those that support their principles for reform.

"For Montana small businesses, health care costs can mean the difference between keeping good employees or failing to compete. Montanans for Health Care understands that if our economy is to succeed, we must make health care more affordable for Montana families and small businesses," said State Auditor Monica Lindeen.

The Next Step: Health Care report was released this morning by Montanans for Health Care, Montana State Auditor Monica Lindeen, concerned faith community leaders, small business owners, community leaders as well as coalition partners of Montanans for Health Care and the SEIU Change that Works Campaign. According to the report:

· From 2000 to 2007, health insurance premiums in Montana increased by more than 88.8% while median yearly wages increased only 16.2%

· Montana's median yearly wage in 2007 was only $22,170, but the average health care premium for a family was $11,743

· In 2008, the average premium for family coverage in Montana was $13,085. By 2016, that number is expected to be more than $25,000.

"The economic burdens created by rapidly increasing health care costs, as detailed in this report, pose particularly stern challenges for rural Montana communities and the family farmers, ranchers, working families and rural, mainstreet small business owners that live and work there. Rural Montana, and all of rural America, need health care reform and they need it to address rural America's unique health care challenges," said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska.

For more information or to download a full copy of the report see:

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