Through access to health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Montana’s uninsured rate has dropped from
20% in 2012 to 7.4% in 2016, with thousands of Montanans accessing health coverage through the health marketplace. Congress and President-elect Trump, however, have stated their intent to repeal the ACA in early 2017, without simultaneously putting in place any replacement.
Montana today could be a more prosperous state. Through investments by our state, we could have more modern schools, better roads, updated water and sewer systems, and a greater access to a college education.
Our state does not have these things – not because of a natural disaster or a financial crisis brought on by things out of the state’s control.
In Montana, thousands of families are working hard for low pay and often struggling to get by. One of the most promising opportunities to support working families and boost our economy is the enactment of a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Great Recession and other economic trends made it harder for Montana’s families to live above the poverty line.
Through the state budget, we as Montanans identify, prioritize, and fund the public services we all rely on for our safety, prosperity, and stability. Our state budget can be used to promote future economic prosperity and health through investments that create opportunities for American Indians and all Montana’s residents, but this is only possible with substantial input and advocacy from Indian Country.