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2020 Governor Featured Health Care Montana Legislature Montana Politics

Oppose Rep. Ed Buttrey’s Dubious Proposal to Take Health Coverage from Forty Thousand Montanans

Stethoscope on a printed sheet of paper

Stand against any bill that would take health coverage from Montanans

Spending millions of Montana taxpayer dollars on government surveillance to collect, report and validate exemption status only to cancel coverage for thousands of Montanans is not sound policy and all legislators should stand firmly against it in Montana.

Montana Medicaid expansion works. It currently covers 96,000 Montanans and helps them stay healthy and employed.

I find Rep. Ed Buttrey’s proposal to change Montana Medicaid expansion dubious and troubling.

Many Montanans use Montana’s Medicaid expansion as their source of health care coverage and changes to the Montana Medicaid expansion program that would force Montanans to lose health coverage are bad policy and Montanans oppose them.

Montana Medicaid expansion has not only brought health coverage to nearly 100,000 Montanans it has also brought over 5,000 jobs and more than $240 million in personal annual income to our state. Labor force participation is up 9% among low-income Montanans and we continue to see the ongoing benefits of Medicaid expansion to our economy as seen in the recently released report by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the Montana Department of Revenue.

Link to Report: Montana Medicaid and Montana Employers

Montana legislators should oppose these dubious “community benefit” proposals in Rep. Buttrey’s bill that take health coverage away from people who do not meet bureaucratic requirements.

 Creating more expensive bureaucracy and complicated paperwork is not what Montanans want.

The changes that Rep. Buttrey proposes to Montana’s Medicaid program will result in thousands of people losing healthcare, as many as 43,000 by one estimate (often just via paperwork snafus), greater administrative costs and disruption of care at the provider level.

Work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky are prime examples of the failings of these policies. In Arkansas over 18,000 people have lost health coverage by these strict reporting requirements according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In Kentucky, the implementation of the work requirement program increased administrative costs by over 40%, a $35 million dollar administrative cost to taxpayers, According to Fitch.

Spending millions of Montana taxpayer dollars on government surveillance to collect, report and validate exemption status only to cancel coverage for thousands of Montanans is not sound policy and all legislators should stand firmly against it in Montana.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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