Access to health care coverage has a major ripple effect on any community. We have seen this firsthand in Pondera County. Since 2016, more Montanans eligible for Medicaid has helped create a healthier workforce, supported new jobs and injected more than $2 billion in economic activity to our state.
As the Montana legislature debated the future of Medicaid during this legislative session, Ed Buttrey, Llew Jones and Butch Gillespie stood up for their respective home communities by voting to continue the law. We support that vote to continue a policy that supports local jobs, protects rural critical access hospitals and fuels a $2 billion economic engine for Montana.
Government works best when leaders work in a bipartisan manner and put the people they serve over political games.
The fact is: Montana Medicaid works. It’s helping our rural hospitals stay viable by dramatically reducing the amount of uncompensated care. Medicaid has been a game changer for expanding access to life-saving preventive care in Montana. It is shifting costs from more expensive and less effective treatment of health emergencies to more cost-effective, preventive care. Medicaid is not a handout. It’s benefiting our small businesses by helping create a healthier workforce where folks show up on the job, get care when they need it and take care of mental health or substance abuse issues, so they be a productive member of society. 3 in 5 Montana employers have workers enrolled in Medicaid saving Montana businesses millions in health care costs. Medicaid expansion has drastically reduced the rate of uncompensated care, which helps keep our rural hospitals viable. Pondera Medical Center has remained financially viable due to a 26% reduction in uncompensated care and 13% reduction in bad debt levels. Montana Medicaid enrollees are a significant percentage of PMC Clinic and Hospital patients.
We thank Ed Buttrey, Llew Jones and Butch Gillespie, who did the right thing by cutting through partisan politics, reaching across the aisle to reform and improve Medicaid in Montana. Join us in thanking these legislators for working together to protect health care for thousands of our neighbors, stand up for our rural hospitals and continue a policy that works well for our state.
o Thanks to the leadership and bipartisan courage of 28 Montana Senators and 61 Montana Representatives, our state is one step closer to continuing a policy that is saving lives, creating jobs, investing in a healthier workforce and fueling a $2 billion economic engine.
o Because these legislators were willing to reach across the aisle and work together, legislation that saves lives, create jobs, invests in a healthier workforce will continue to work for Montana
o Economic benefits of Medicaid expansion far exceed costs.
o Medicaid expansion has added $600 million in economic output to Montana’s economy each year.
o It has fueled 9,715 new jobs and $793 million in associated wages.
o Since Medicaid expansion, Montana’s nationwide health ranking has increased to #21, our highest ranking in more than a decade.
o Thanks to Medicaid expansion, more than 96,036 Montanans received preventive services. This includes:
o More than 8,415 women who received breast cancer screenings;
o More than 2,707 possible cases of colon cancer were averted; and
o Close to 32,615 patients who received outpatient mental health services.