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Everyone knows that Yellowstone County is a health care hub for many surrounding counties and states. Since bipartisan Medicaid expansion was passed in 2015 by the HELP Act, our county has seen almost 14,000 individuals gain coverage under the plan while the state, as a whole, has seen 96,000 individuals receive care. Of those, the majority are already working, according to the Montana Bureau of Labor and Industry.

Medicaid expansion is helping people in every single county in Montana. Since 2015, we have seen an additional $1.3 billion in federal dollars come to the state while we were able to save $58 million in the state’s general fund. The sunset on Medicaid expansion needs to be lifted — not only for the 96,000 individuals that it has served, but also for the financial benefits that the state receives from the program.

People want to better themselves and care for their families. The economy has been making health care too expensive to provide. Assuring access to health care for Montanans means they can keep healthier, and keep providing. Those who have read some history know that before our nation had rules limiting work hours for children, or a safety net for old age funded by workers' wages, conditions were a lot harder for citizens. Support the ability of tens of thousands of fellow Montanans to care for themselves and their own.

Noel Hawke

Billings

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