Matt Rosendale Continues to Politicize His Office, Undermine Health Care Access

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While Matt Rosendale has made it clear that he believes it doesn’t matter who holds his political stepping stone, the Officer of the Montana State Auditor and has turned the position in to a platform for political campaigning at public expense, it actually plays a critical role in ensuring that Montanans are protected from securities and insurance fraud, not to mention its critical importance as one of the seats that votes on the Land Board, something else Mr. Rosendale has neglected during his tenure.

Everyone in Montana politics knows that Mr. Rosendale only ran for the State Auditor’s position, despite his opposition to government regulation and his lack of knowledge about the issues faced by the Auditor, so that he could position himself for another run for political office. Given that Rosendale is even less likely to do the work of the Auditor as he faces off against Jon Tester this summer and fall, it’s time for Mr. Rosendale to resign his office and stop collecting checks from the people of Montana while he works for the Koch Brothers, Richard Uihlein, Steve Bannon, and the whole host of out-of-state corporate interests he has so desperately courted.

Just this week, Rosendale showed that he can’t be trusted to separate his political aspirations from the functions of the job he currently holds, issuing an op-ed that he’s promoted both on the State Auditor’s web page and the official Facebook account of the office.

The op-ed is little more than the standard collection of talking points Republicans use in their efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act that has expanded health insurance access for twenty million Americans and little more than a rehashed version of the same tired argument Rosendale convinced Montana newspapers to run a year ago.

And it’s totally inappropriate for an elected official to spend staff time and resources to support such a nakedly personal and political agenda.

Whether it’s referring to the Affordable Care Act by the name “Obamacare” or using official state communication to accuse Governor Bullock of vetoing his bad bills “for political reasons,” Rosendale seems to have no sense that his job as State Auditor is not to parrot right wing talking points, but to inform and protect Montana consumers.

And though his official communication is not an appropriate place for Rosendale to express political arguments, the release did inadvertently reveal just how dangerous Rosendale would be as a member of the Senate because he supports not only a repeal of the subsidies help Americans get insurance but a full repeal of the protections the ACA offers those with pre-existing conditions. From the state website you and I pay for:

Other actions by President Trump will expand health insurance options, and I anticipate those proposed changes will give many people lower cost alternatives to meet their health care needs by 2019.

As your state insurance commissioner, I have very limited authority over the Obamacare system created and enforced by the federal government. My office reviews the insurance companies’ rates and shares that information with the public, but we can’t set the rates. One of the major problems with Obamacare—and another reason it needs to be entirely repealed…

That’s right. If you or a family member suffers a pre-existing health condition, Mr. Rosendale believes (like the President) that the law mandating insurers cover you should be repealed. If you are a young adult under the age of 26, Mr. Rosendale believes the ACA provisions mandating that insurers keep you on your family plan should be repealed. And if you’re from a state whose citizens and economy are healthier because of Medicaid expansion, Mr. Rosendale believes those benefits should be repealed.

Mr. Rosendale is desperate to get back home to the East Coast and impose his dangerous vision for healthcare on Montana and the rest of the nation. He’s so desperate that he’s using his current office to dishonestly politicize the debate and misinform Montanans to increase his chances of winning.

Given his disregard for the job and the truth, not to mention his abuse of the office he holds, Mr. Rosendale owes it to Montanans to admit what we already know: that his being elected State Auditor was nothing more than personal ambition and he should resign from the office to run the campaign he cares about.

Let Matt Rosendale know that it’s time for him to step down.

#RosendaleResign

 

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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