Healthy Montana Statement on I-185 Results

Statement from Chris Laslovich, Healthy Montana, I-185 Campaign Manager:

“Today is a disappointing day for the nearly 100,000 Montanans who are now at risk of losing their health care, the 8,000 kids who will become adult smokers, the 1,600 Montanans who will die this year from smoking-related illness, and thousands of veterans who lost more $4 million in new funding for veterans’ services.

During this campaign, Big Tobacco broke records by spending nearly $20 million lying to and confusing Montana voters about I-185 all to keep Montanans smoking and protect their profits. Despite being outspent by nearly $10 million, the Healthy Montana Coalition stood together. Together with more than 350 volunteers and nearly 100 endorsing nonprofits, organizations and businesses, we talked to 100,000 voters and nearly won against tremendous odds.

However, the work of the Healthy Montana Coalition is not over – the lives of nearly 100,000 Montanans are at stake. We now turn our attention to the legislature to maintain Montana’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion and protect those enrolled from harmful restrictions that would take away health insurance coverage. For health advocates, rural hospitals, nurses, and doctors across the state, we will keep working to protect the health care that one in ten Montanans need.”

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