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Letter

At the Missoula City Club’s March luncheon, Rep. Brad Tschida said things that were either mistakes or simply wrong concerning his opposition to Medicaid expansion.

First, he actually complained that the federal government plans to reduce its share to a measly 90 percent of our costs and — because we would have to pay 10 percent — we should turn it down.

Next, he implied that by turning it down, our federal taxes would go down. The truth is that our taxes will remain the same and some other state will get the benefits for their rural hospitals, increased local, taxpaying jobs, and healthier workers who pay taxes.

Then Tschida implied that federal dollars might need to be repaid. Fact: Affordable Care Act funds are not loans.

Finally, he worried that these funds could — at some mystical time in the future — be withdrawn. While this might be possible, is that a reason to not take the opportunity now to help tens of thousands of our fellow Montanans maintain their health and jobs?

A point Tschida overlooks is that without Medicaid expansion, the rest of us pay for the treatment of these 90,000 at the highest price — emergency room prices, when they don’t pay.

Burt Caldwell,

Missoula

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