April 28, 2009                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Lindeen Applauds Governor for Signing Small Business Health Care Bill


      Today Montana State Auditor and Commissioner of Insurance and Securities strongly praised Governor Schweitzer’s decision to sign House Bill 258 into law.
      
      The new law will help some 600 small businesses in Montana to provide affordable health insurance to their employees and their families. The businesses are on a waiting list to participate in Insure Montana, the award-winning, nationally recognized small business health insurance program launched by the State Auditor, the Governor, and the legislature in 2005.
      
      “Montanans can be proud of the Governor’s leadership,” said Lindeen. “Affordable health care benefits are critical for ensuring Montana’s small business economy remains strong.”
      
      Lindeen says small businesses in the program will save an average of $4,800 in health insurance costs over the next two years. An employee who works for one of these businesses would save more than $3,000 on average.
      
      “A strong and expanding small business base signals to the outside world that Montana is a good place to do business,” said Lindeen. “The ability to provide health insurance is much needed security in the high-risk world of small-business management.”
      
      The law was sponsored by Representative Bill McChesney (D-Miles City) and Senator Cliff Larson (D-Missoula) at the request of State Auditor Monica Lindeen. It passed both legislative chambers with broad bi-partisan support: 36-14 in the senate and 75-23 in the house.