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As our state legislators debate the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid coverage to about 70,000 more Montanans, here's an interesting "factoid" that many folks may not know: each of our 150 state legislators is eligible to receive as much as $800 per month to purchase their own health insurance, either through the state, or to pay their share of employer-provided policies.

This "perk" is 12 months a year while they are in office, not just for the 90 days that the legislature is "in session." It comes out at close to $10,000 per year per legislator, or over $1.4 million per year if each legislator took their full share. Those are Montana taxpayer dollars!

I'd recommend you contact your local representative or senator, and ask them a few simple questions: first, are you taking any of the health insurance subsidies, and if so, how much; and also, what is your position on expanding Medicaid for Montana's uninsured and underinsured?

Better yet, maybe the Missoulian staff and the Lee Newspapers crew in Helena could poll the entire state legislature and report out on their findings and who voted for what on the Medicaid expansion?

The old saying of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" seems to fit this situation perfectly.

Dick Mangan,

Missoula

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