Republican Logic at the Legislature: Hands Off Health Care, Hands on Uteruses

Because they can’t pass their latest effort to restrict abortion rights in Montana:

Sen. Daniel McGee, the bill’s sponsor, said the issue should be placed before the voters of Montana, not decided by lawmakers or courts.

"So the question becomes then do the people of Montana have a say as per Roe v. Wade, and Webster, do they have a say in the interests of unborn life?" the Republican from Laurel asked lawmakers during the Senate hearing.

But, when it comes to funding children’s healthcare, endorsed by 70 per cent of Montanans:

Lewis said Republicans plan to introduce a bill that will delay implementation of I-155 until 2011, after the next Legislature.

Lewis said while voters did approve I-155, they did so without knowing how the state’s budget picture would deteriorate.

“People voted for that when we had a billion-dollar surplus,” he said. “Now we’re taking $250 million out of the revenue.”

As evident as the Republican hypocrisy on the will of the voter is, it certainly not what matters most in the last week of conservative ideology trumping sound economic and moral principles at the Legislature.

Montana voters willing took on the burden of providing adequate for our children, knowing that it would require a financial commitment. Why? For some, because healthy children are better students, become better workers, and contribute to the economic well-being of the state. For others, because it is a moral imperative to care for children.

Whatever their reasons, Montanans should be commended for their commitment to the well-being of all children in this state. Republicans who have decided to both ignore the will of the people and the needs of children should be ashamed of themselves.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • Argh! The hypocrisy drives me crazy. I wish Obama would take a look at the HCFA plan because I think it’s a good transition to public healthcare. Health Care for America is put together by the political scientist Jacob Hacker with the support of the Economic Policy Institute. I’d suggest reading Thinking Big for a better summary of the plan, but the basic idea is that employers pay money into a public fund, enough to cover their workers. The public fund gives quality coverage including preventive care. Workers either keep insurance, choose a different private plan, or join a public health insurance plan without a private insurer middleman, and pick their providers and doctors. If it’s too much for employers to provide the coverage the law requires they enroll their workers in the public plan at a modest cost. HCFA and Medicare would function as a single nationwide insurance pool covering around half the population. So … either the public plan attracts most Americans, and our system evolves into single-payer OR because the floor prevents a race to the bottom, the public-private competition raises the bar on care, cuts costs, even in the private insurance plans. The standards would have to be kept by a strong government watchdog.

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