A new report recently came out highlighting the enormous economic benefits of Montana’s Medicaid Expansion Program.
Over 90,000 Montanans are insured through Medicaid expansion in Montana which began in 2016. Since then, the program has infused more than $500 million in healthcare spending through Montana’s economy. This has created over 5,000 jobs annually, $280 million in personal income gains, and saved the State of Montana $40 million in Medicaid spending. It also made Montana’s uninsured rate fall from 20% in 2013 to around 7% and saved many rural community hospitals by reducing their uncompensated care. These hospitals would have closed without Medicaid Expansion.
Hospitals like the Teton Medical Center in Choteau.
All of this economic gain and state savings without cutting a single tax for millionaires or corporations. Imagine that.
This report was conducted by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and was funded by the Montana Health Care and Headwaters Community foundations.
Medicaid expansion helps those stuck in the ACA gap, who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but make too little to afford a plan on the ACA exchanges, gain health insurance. These are veterans, Native Americans, mothers, fathers, and anyone who is making less than $16,000 a year.
There was also an unintended positive result of Medicaid Expansion, more people got jobs or stayed employed. The BBER found that expansion led to a 6-9 percent increase in Montana’s labor force. Because of Medicaid expansion, folks who get a promotion or a raise, take on more hours at work, or leave their current job for a better opportunity don’t lose their health care. Medicaid coverage also helps people stay at their jobs by getting them treatment for medical needs before they become costly complications down the road.
Montana Medicaid expansion also helps connect low-income working Montanans to the job services that help connect them to workforce training, employment services, and job openings. This has helped low-income Montanans find better jobs and higher wages.
Medicaid expansion has been the biggest jobs bill Montana has seen in decades, and it’s working. But, Republicans in Washington D.C. and in Helena are wanting to take it away and destroy our economy.
Trump and the Republican Party have repeatedly sabotaged the ACA making premiums and overall healthcare costs rise for Montanans. They repeatedly tried to rip away Medicaid coverage from Montanans to give tax cuts to their wealthy donors. Greg Gianforte and Steve Daines repeatedly voted to throw Montanans’ healthcare and our economy under the bus so they could get kickbacks for themselves and their donors. Senator Daines has repeatedly lied about Montana’s Medicaid program, stating costs have grown too high, when in fact Montana has saved $40 million dollars.
Never forget it. Republicans will stop at nothing to destroy President Obama’s legacy—even if it hurts hardworking Montanans and our economy. Gianforte and Daines have already bankrupted the U.S. Treasury with tax cuts for wealthy elites like themselves. Next, they will join Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republicans in cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Expansion to pay for their tax cuts.
Medicaid expansion is working, its creating jobs, its making healthcare affordable, and saving our community rural hospitals. We must fight to continue Montana’s quality healthcare program.