The Truth About Medicaid

Demand that your state representatives reauthorize Medicaid expansion in the 2025 Legislature

By Kyle Waterman

In recent opinion letters there has been a resurgence of the villainizing of Medicaid and an assertion that citizens want to have a health crisis so they can receive this benefit. The truth is that Medicaid and Medicaid expansion keep rural hospitals open and provide coverage for families in need of essential medical services.

I think of Medicaid as traction for families struggling that have gotten stuck. Just like a shovel of sand under your tires stuck in the snow – Medicaid gives families a chance to move forward and hopefully gain momentum to get ahead, to be able to take care of their entire family without having to make a sacrifice their own health and to do this locally.

In her recent letter, Monica Tranel characterized Medicaid as a partnership between the Federal and State governments. This is very true in Montana. Though we may be growing in population locally, this growth hasn’t been consistent across the entire state. Towns and rural hospitals along Highway 2 in eastern Montana have not gotten closer to each other. Having healthcare coverage for eastern Montana kids, parents and neighbors keeps these rural hospitals open.

Having local and accessible healthcare makes for a healthier Montana. Montanans are resourceful and that is why giving them healthcare coverage when they are in crisis gives them a chance. We have long funded medical programs for children (like CHIP) but what Medicaid provides is the chance to make sure that parents below the poverty line also get coverage which sets up the entire family for success.

Let’s make sure to keep our rural hospitals open and give local families a chance to take care of their medical needs and their kids needs locally. Let’s keep these families healthy and keep the Medicaid partnerships that give them traction. 

Please take the time to learn how Medicaid works and you will see it is not a handout but a rather a chance for Montanan families to stay on the road to success. Demand that your state representatives reauthorize Medicaid expansion in the 2025 Legislature. And elect partners like Monica Tranel to Congress, where she will work to make sure Medicaid works for rural Montana communities and families. 

Kyle Waterman