Let’s save lives with I-185

Miranda Bradley of Laurel
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Montana’s Medicaid expansion has been helping those stuck in healthcare limbo. For several years now, our Medicaid expansion program has supported those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but still cannot afford quality healthcare. This program helps provide healthcare to those in need and continues to produce approximately $400 million in new spending each year, bolstering Montana’s economy. Furthermore, Medicaid expansion improves the health outcomes of patients across the state. As medical students, we see the benefits healthcare and Medicaid provide each time we talk with patients in clinic.

I-185 is in a unique position to help support Montana Medicaid and simultaneously save taxpayers and businesses money. As we stand, 34% of Montana Medicaid enrollees are current smokers and tobacco users. This tobacco use costs Montanans nearly $440 million each year in additional health care costs, a cost that is shared among every Montana household paying taxes. In addition, it is estimated that Montana businesses lose $368.9 million each year in lost productivity from tobacco-related illnesses.

The revenue generated by I-185 will support those nearly 100,000 friends and neighbors that rely on Medicaid expansion to maintain their good health. The increased tax on tobacco has the opportunity to make our great state healthier by decreasing youth smoking rates and helping many adults abstain from this habit.

I- only ensure

recipients continue to be covered, but also to reduce the burden of tobacco-related healthcare costs on each household in Montana. I encourage voters to do their research and understand the true costs associated with the widespread use of Big Tobacco’s deadly products. As future healthcare providers, we wish the best for all Montanans. Voting yes on I-185 is a vote for Montana’s healthy future. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I urge you to vote yes on I-185!

 

 

Miranda Bradley of Laurel

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