Denny Rehberg’s Shared Sacrifice, Episode 3: The People of Libby

Just an amazing story in the Daily Interlake today about Representative Rehberg, who is continuing his war against weak and vulnerable Montanans. The victims this time? The people of Libby who fought for years to get long-term healthcare for asbestos-related illnesses.

No one can explain it better than someone who has suffered from abestos disease:

Red Busby of Libby, who is battling asbestos disease, said Rehberg’s push to eliminate the health-reform funding would cause thousands of asbestos victims to lose benefits such as Medicare and a special pilot program that will help pay for medications, oxygen, doctor visits, chest X-rays, hospitalizations and end-of-life care for asbestos victims.
“If Representative Rehberg came to Libby more often, visited the CARD clinic, talked to the victims and saw their extensive medical needs and how debilitating this disease is, he wouldn’t be pushing for defunding it at the expense of the health of the people of Montana,” Busby said.

Once again, it’s instructive to look at what Representative Rehberg once had to say. In 2008, he said he cared about the people of Libby, even though he voted against them then, too. He said:

Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, citing a recent study regarding new effects of asbestos exposure in Libby, Montana, today called for a renewed “sense of urgency” from the Environmental Protection Agency on the cleanup.

“Unfortunately, the news is only getting worse for Libby residents,” said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.  “Researchers are finding that even the slightest amount of asbestos exposure can be a real factor in a person’s health.  It’s time we put an end to this tragedy and ensure it doesn’t hit the next generation.”

The only thing that seems to be “urgent” for Representative Rehberg these days is kowtowing to the GOP leadership, no matter the cost to ordinary Montanans. What’s urgent for us? Making sure that this session is this charlatan’s last.

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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