Medicaid expansion plan makes sense for health, economy

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The governor has proposed a law to expand Medicaid health-care coverage for some 70,000 Montanans. Many work full-time, or at places such as Walmart which may limit employees to under 32 hours a week to avoid having to offer health insurance. As a result, many cannot afford even the Obamacare health-care premiums on their own. 

A D.A. Davidson financial analyst testified to a legislative committee that with expanded Medicaid, 12,000 jobs would be created over the next six years, with a $5 billion overall effect on the Montana economy.

Even if some do not want to help the poor, the $5 billion for the Montana economy is hard to say no to. What better way to boost Montana’s economy than that? This is federal money, and the federal government has more power to tax oil companies and to tax the top 1 percent than does the state of Montana. This is a huge net gain to Montana.

One can quote the Bible on helping those in need. Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Acts 20:35, “We must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

As to Medicaid expansion to help those in need, what would Jesus do? —Jon L. Heberling, Whitefish

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