OHA hosts presentation by Montana economist at State Chamber Summit

Posted on: 10/17/18


On Oct. 10, OHA members attended the Health Care Summit hosted by the State Chamber of Oklahoma to hear from leaders in health care about reform ideas and challenges in our state and nation. OHA sponsored a presentation, “The economic impact of Medicaid expansion in Montana,” by Dr. Bryce Ward, economist. The presentation is available on the OHA website. Key findings from the presentation included:
  • Medicaid expansion insures more than 90,000 Montanans and generates more than $500 million per year in health care spending.  
  • Approximately 70 percent of this ($350-$400 million) is new money circulating in Montana’s economy. As such, the direct impact of Medicaid expansion is approximately 133 percent the size of Montana’s beverage manufacturing industry (such as breweries and distilleries).
  • New Medicaid expansion spending supports a substantial amount of economic activity – approximately 5,000 jobs and $280 million in personal income each year.  
  • Medicaid expansion (and the associated HELP-Link program) appears to have led to a 6-9 percent increase in labor force participation among low income Montanans (ages 18-64 up to 138 percent Federal Poverty Level).
Also during the Summit, the keynote address, presented by Clay Alspach of Leavitt Partners, reviewed key aspects of where health care reform is likely to go depending on the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections nationally. The event concluded with Democrat candidate for governor, Drew Edmondson, providing insight into his health care platform, which includes ways to address Oklahoma’s high rate of uninsured, including accepting the federal dollars now going to other states by expanding Medicaid in Oklahoma. Both candidates were invited to attend. (Lynne White)

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