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  • Writer's pictureSteve Bullock

Steve Bullock explains ballot measures, Medicaid expansion, and Dakotans for Health

Updated: May 24, 2021

"Healthcare and the Heartland" with Montana Governor Steve Bullock

Healthcare and the Heartland | Episode IV | Medicaid Expansion | Building Back Better


Montana Governor Steve Bullock is certainly one of us. He has the ‘right stuff’ and understands how the influence of ‘big money’ has destroyed people’s trust in government. He also understands that passing Medicaid expansion is a key opportunity to building back better in South Dakota -- a state with a rich history of progressive populism. Dakotans for Health was proud to join Governor Bullock Wednesday, February 10th for "Medicaid Expansion: Building Back Better" our latest installment of Healthcare and the Heartland. Watch the entire episode via the YouTube video above!

Medicaid Expansion: A win for Big Sky Country

In 2015 Montana Governor Steve Bullock expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Each year, it brings a Federal investment of +$600 million that otherwise wouldn’t be there. These funds percolate through Montana’s economy generating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in wages for Montana households.

New medicaid expansion spending supports a substantial amount of economic activity -- approximately 5,000 jobs and $280 million in personal income each year. -Dr. Bryce Ward, PHD (University of Montana)

Bullock and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services have received wide praise for their efforts, which included smashing initial enrollment projections, to revolutionize Montana’s rural healthcare system. Here are a few highlights:

  • Helping the Bottom Line: capturing $2,650,000,000 at 19:1 ROI for Montana tax payers. (Source: Montana Legislative Research Fiscal Division per FY2016-FY2018 + FY2019 + FY2020)

  • Helping THREE out of FIVE Montana Businesses: (over 23,000!) by providing health services to their employees and driving health insurance costs down. (Source: Montana Department of Labor per Joint Report)

  • Helping Healthcare Providers: Medicaid expansion is critical to covering operating costs at Montana hospitals and clinics, the loss of which will results in staff cuts and closed facilities.

  • Helping Community Members: Medicaid expansion ensures 92,704 Montanans main health coverage, preserving healthcare access for our its most vulnerable citizens. (Source: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services per Website)

About Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock, Montana’s former attorney general, was elected Montana’s 24th governor on November 6, 2012 serving until January 3, 2021. Born and raised in Montana, Steve has spent his career fighting on behalf of working families and the most vulnerable among us. A union lawyer, Steve ran for President 2020 campaign was focused on ridding our political system of ‘big money’ influence – but he is more than that. An avid outdoorsman and converservationist, he was able to win in the deeply red state of Montana because he was not afraid to reach across the aisle to revolutionize the state’s rural healthcare system and expand Medicaid for thousands of Montanans.

About Dakotans for Health

Dakotans for Health, an emerging group of public officials, caregivers, health care advocates, and concerned citizens supporting the expansion of Medicaid. We have released COMPREHENSIVE MATERIALS for our volunteers to start circulating a petition for a Constitutional Amendment to expand Medicaid. Get yours today!


Help Secure Ballot Access for Medicaid Expansion

Make a donation to help expand Medicaid in South Dakota. You can donate online via ActBlue HERE. You can Make a donation via check our money order HERE.

Congressman Earl Pomeroy explains the importance of Dakotans for Health's citizen led initiative to expand Medicaid in South Dakota

Get involved. Volunteer, start circulating a petition, and donate! Text "Medicaid" to (772) 577-2336

Dakotans For Health QR code for volunteers.
Join our Grassroots Network!

Circulate a Medicaid Expansion Petition (How to)

Want to circulate a petition? We have been on the streets since November of last year! The best way to do it is by scanning the code above or text "Medicaid" to (772) 577-2336. You can also find everything you need HERE.

HHS Deputy Secretary Dr. Mary Wakefield (RN) talks healthcare and the heartland with Dakotans For Health


South Dakota is one of twelve states who has yet to expand Medicaid under the ACA
North Dakota expanded Medicaid in 2015. The program has brought hundreds of millions of additional dollars into the state:
Montana expanded Medicaid in 2015 as well. The program brings an additional $600 Million a year to the state:

Visual Learner Summary: according to the fiscal note released by the South Dakota Legislative Research Council last July, South Dakota, upon the expansion of Medicaid, will $15 back for every $1 it puts in. A 15:1 Return On Investment.


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