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07.25.2018 / Press Release

Montanans Mobilize to Protect Health Care for Vulnerable Families

Montana Is Third State to Allow Residents to Vote on Medicaid Expansion This November 

Washington, D.C. —Today, the Healthy Montana ballot initiative campaign to protect Medicaid expansion was certified to appear on Montana’s ballot on Election Day this November. Montana’s Medicaid expansion is set to expire in 2019 unless action is taken to preserve it. The ballot initiative will remove the expiration date, preserving Medicaid expansion for 100,000 Montana residents in the state, and institute a tobacco tax to help fund the state’s share—10 percent of Medicaid expansion costs beginning in 2020—of Medicaid expansion. The people of Montana, along with grassroots activists, consumer health advocates, and health care groups, mobilized in the last several months to collect the 25,468 signatures required to qualify the initiative for placement on the ballot. Montana joins Utah and Idaho as the third state voting on Medicaid expansion in the 2018 elections this fall.

Following is the statement of Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA:

“Volunteers and consumer health advocates have triumphed in this critical next step to qualify the initiative in Montana. Collecting the signatures required to place a measure on the Montana ballot is a feat in itself—demonstrating the support Medicaid has among state residents for providing comprehensive health care to the most vulnerable people in the state. Over the past few months, fueled purely by a desire to protect the health care of their families and neighbors, volunteers and consumer advocates canvassed the entire state to get signatures for the ballot initiative. Thanks to their commitment, Montana is one step closer to protecting Medicaid expansion for the 100,000 Montanans who currently rely on the program for life-saving care.

“We are witnessing a movement of tens of thousands of people across multiple states, organizing to make their voices heard in the discussion about access to health care for low-income families. Today, Montanans are joining voters in Utah and Idaho who are standing up for their families, friends, and neighbors to make sure no one has to choose between buying food to feed their family or taking a loved one to see the doctor.

“Families USA congratulates the Healthy Montana campaign and everybody who worked so hard to give the people of Montana the option to vote on Election Day to protect Medicaid for tens of thousands of people in the state.”