BOZEMAN – Governor Bullock and healthcare professionals at Bozeman Health came together Wednesday afternoon to talk about Initiative 185.
Supporters say the initiative, on the ballot for November’s election, would fund the state’s Medicaid expansion — and other essential services for seniors and veterans — by adding a tax on tobacco products.
“Montana is a state of 147,000 square miles. In our rural communities if you lose that health care facility that community is gone,” Bullock said. “If you look at states that have expanded Medicaid versus those who didn’t, states that didn’t expand Medicaid have a six times higher rural hospital closure rate. In Montana, we have not lost one of our rural hospitals, not one.”
Bullock said tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in Montana.
Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News