Governor Steve Bullock sent out the following message today and its worth a read:
A new report was released by Manatt Health for the Montana Healthcare Foundation that shows the positive benefits Montana Medicaid has had on the economy, employment, and access to care.
The report finds that Montana Medicaid has helped increase access to preventative care, which prevents costly complications down the road. Medicaid has helped 96,000 Montanans gain access to healthcare and more than 65,000 adults have accessed preventive services to date. Hospitals’ uncompensated care costs were reduced by more than $100 million in 2016 alone.
The report also finds that more than 8 in 10 enrollees live in working families and that Montana ranks in the top ten states for Medicaid enrollees who are working.
Labor force participation has increased in Montana by 9% and by 6% for people with disabilities as a result of Montana Medicaid and our unique HELP-Link program. This is a job services program administered by the Department of Labor & Industry that connects Medicaid enrollees with workforce training, employment services, and job openings.
Echoing a previous report by The Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Manatt Health also found that 5,000 new jobs have been created each year since 2016 and that the state’s budget has seen millions in savings.
65,000 Montanans are now accessing preventative care rather than waiting for a life-threatening condition to send them to the emergency room, where healthcare is the most expensive and we all pick up the tab. Medicaid is a good deal for Montana – increasing Montanans’ economic security, creating jobs, and helping our rural hospitals survive. We must ensure this good deal remains for Montanans well into the future.
We have a lot of work to do in the days ahead to ensure that this good deal remains a significant part of our economy beyond 2019. Join me in spreading the word—Montana’s Medicaid coverage is not only important to the health of our friends and neighbors, it’s important to the overall health of our economy.