A Montana ballot initiative that would have provided funding to continue Medicaid coverage for low-income adults beyond 2019 failed by a narrow margin Tuesday, with 47 percent of voters supporting the measure. Opposed by tobacco companies, the initiative would have raised state fees on tobacco to provide up to $74.3 million per year by fiscal year 2023 to support Medicaid expansion and other health services. “Montana hospitals and other care providers carry their commitment forward knowing that time is of the essence in preventing 100,000 of our neighbors from losing their existing health coverage,” said Montana Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Rasmussen. “Big Tobacco can’t cloud the fact that Medicaid expansion has been a bipartisan success. We now turn to new opportunities for meaningful action and investment in a health care infrastructure that allows generations of Montanans to pursue happy, healthy and productive lives.”

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