Montana Group Strives to Protect Affordable Care Act
Protect Our Care Montana was joined by Reps. Debo Powers and Dave Fern, Executive Director of Flathead Community Health Center, Mary Sterhan, and Kalispell City Councilman Kyle Watermen on an a call to discuss the new healthcare navigator grant program during a meeting that recognized the third anniversary of Senator John McCain’s thumbs-down vote to that would have repealed Affordable Care Act.
Speakers spoke with elected leaders supporting ongoing efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in court. They said that the stakes have never been higher to protect the Affordable Care Act and Montana’s Medicaid, given the current concerns about COVID-19.
Waterman, councilman for Ward 3 in Kalispell, called upon his experiences working with Montanans facing health challenges, “Medicaid expansion has allowed us to expand services in our community and move care upstream for issues like mental health.”
Discussing Montana’s Medicaid program and the change it’s brought to the Flathead area, Sterhan emphasized the impact Medicaid expansion has had on the state. She pointed out that programs like Montana’s Medicaid allow healthcare providers, like her, to approach health holistically and begin working with patients early instead of having to provide emergency or critical care later.
Sterhan also applauded Governor Steve Bullock’s announcement of $1 million health coverage Navigator grant program in the state. She confirmed Flathead Community Health currently has two navigators working with the public and the patients and will be applying for grant funds to increase that outreach.
Reps. Powers and Fern lauded the impact the ACA has had in their community and stressed what they believe would be the unintended impacts of repeal, including economic hardship for nearly 90,000 as they struggle to find healthcare.