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Letter to the Editor - Stories on Medicaid and Colstrip are dogs that won't hunt


April 19, 2019


Pretending that opposition to continuing Montana’s “Medicaid expansion” had anything to do with the federal budget deficit is a joke that is almost as funny as the proposal by state Sen. Sales earlier this Montana legislative session to “contribute” additional millions of Montana taxpayers’ dollars to building a higher wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Seriously? The current national debt is more than $21 trillion and the current fiscal year 2020 federal deficit is $1.103 trillion — per “thebalance.com” website.

Montana’s Medicaid “expansion” program will utilize a tiny fraction of the federal budget, less than a “drop in the bucket” for federal spending. In Montana the program will save lives and net the state many millions in health care cost savings.

If you in the Montana Legislature who voted against expansion were truly serious about controlling the federal budget deficit, consider supporting a federal balanced budget resolution. Perhaps you’d like to also return all of Montana’s share of federal highway dollars?

In fiscal year 2018, that totaled $380 million spent — per the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division.

Don’t like that idea? Then your opposition to Medicaid expansion wasn’t really about the money, was it? And if you are truly committed to protecting Montanans’ wallets, don’t even think about saddling your kids and mine with millions upon millions of unregulated debt with a Colstrip coal plant bailout that would directly benefit only NorthWestern Energy and the town of Colstrip.

Sorry, Sen. Ankney, that dog won’t hunt. The price is far too high.

Ken McLean



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