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Doctor proposes plan to improve Montana's child health care

Posted Jun 30th, 2008 by Patient Assistance Team
There are 35,000 children in Montana without health care insurance – one of the highest rates in the country. They come from families of all shapes and sizes, not just low income.

This is of major concern for the state. As the song states, “the children are our future” and unhealthy children don’t have as bright a future.

A ballot initiative (titled Healthy Montana Kids) proposed by Dr. Steve Seninger of the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Missoula would “add uninsured children to both public and private insurance programs.”

Nearly 30,000 of those 35,000 uninsured children would be covered by the program. According to Seninger, the annual budget of the program – over $20 million – would “be more than offset by annual savings to employers and workers with employer-based health insurance of $45 million plus another $5 million in reduced federal taxes for government reimbursement for uncompensated care costs.

“An additional $5.5 million in state income tax revenues every year would be generated from the matching federal dollars flowing into the state economy from more insured children in Medicaid and CHIP.”

While schooling is provided for children, Seninger said that health care is just as important. “Providing our children with health insurance is as fundamental to their growth and livelihood as education and requires the same political commitment.”

For more about Healthy Montana Kids go to http://www.montanakidscount.org/