For Immediate Release: September 20, 2018
Helena, Montana – Governor Steve Bullock joined local health care, veterans, and business leaders today in Helena to discuss the positive impact of the Medicaid program on the state of Montana. The meeting was convened by the Modern Medicaid Alliance and focused on the value of Medicaid to the state health care system, economy, and diverse populations across Montana.
“Montana’s unique, bipartisan approach to Medicaid is not just smart medicine, it’s good for our economy, good for our rural communities, and good for our veterans,” said Governor Bullock. “We’re generating new economic activity, keeping our rural hospitals open throughout the state, reducing uncompensated care costs, and ensuring that tens of thousands of Montanans don’t have to choose between putting food on the table or affording their next check-up.”
Medicaid is a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system, providing care to more than 76 million Americans, including more than 278,000 people in Montana. It is the largest health care program in the country, covering about one in five Americans. One out of three children receives Medicaid/CHIP benefits. Moreover, nearly 10% of U.S. veterans receive health care coverage through Medicaid. And nearly half of all Medicaid spending goes toward covering services for people with disabilities.
“What many people don’t realize is that Medicaid provides a critical source of health care coverage to countless veterans throughout this country — without which they would not be able to access the care, rehabilitation, or other critical services we need,” said James Holbrook, an Army veteran who lives in Helena. “We should be doing everything we can to support this program that supports so many former service members here in Montana and throughout this country.”
A report from the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that Medicaid has created 5,000 jobs, and generated nearly $300 million in personal income for Montanans, as well as increasing labor market participation for low-income Montanans by 9%. The Modern Medicaid Alliance is a partnership between real Americans who value Medicaid and leading advocacy organizations. The Alliance educates policymakers and the public about the positive benefits and results of Medicaid, as well as the need for innovations in Medicaid and how the program can improve lives and save money. The goal is to ensure that Medicaid’s best solutions reach as many beneficiaries as possible.