The Montana Healthcare Foundation commissioned an independent analysis that projected what would happen if the current health care bill in Congress were enacted. CEO Aaron Wernham explains how the American Health Care Act would impact Montana.

“The results were a little bit surprising to me and many colleagues in that the state is expected to lose approximately $4.8 billion in federal funding for the Medicaid program,” said Wernham. “This would have a major impact on coverage as well as the types of befits the state is able to offer under that program for low income Montanans.”

Wernham says for the state to fully compensate for those losses, spending would need to increase by at least $2 billion from 2020 to 2026. He says that would be a huge increase in the state budget and seems unlikely.

“So short of doing that, what we would see is cuts in the program,” Wernham said. “Likely the Medicaid expansion, which covers low income adults, would end. We expect north of 70,000 to lose coverage because of that.”

Wernham says this is a major restriction in the Medicaid program and a loss of programing that supports some of the most vulnerable people in the state.