Greg Gianforte is known for telling whoppers, it’s kind of his thing. From lying about blocking a public fishing access site to telling people he doesn’t support a sales tax, the list goes on and on. If there is one certainty in this uncertain time, it’s that Gianforte seems to talk without the facts as the Lee newspapers nicely said last fall when they didn’t endorse him for Governor.
It’s been 74 days since Greg Gianforte let CHIP, the children’s health insurance program that insures 9 million kids—including 24,000 in Montana, expire.
So, it may come as no surprise Gianforte told folks on the scripted, pre-screened conference call he uses to hide from voters instead of holding town hall meetings that the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been reauthorized, fully funded!
Hoorah! Why didn’t Congress put out a press release since everything is solved? This is national news, right? Someone should tell all the other states! Praise Gianforte, Hero of the Free World!
Not so fast the Greg. The truth is that he merely voted to keep the government from shutting down entirely for another two weeks. That resolution ends on December 21stand a government shutdown might be near. The continuing resolution gives a small amount of money to states whose CHIP funds have already ran out already ran out of money this year.
Montana runs out of CHIP funding at the end of next month, so the temporary two-week stop-gap he voted for doesn’t change anything for Montanans.
Without CHIP, families who were able to get their kids on other insurance would have much higher costs. One study found that families would, on average, pay 10 times more in cost-sharing for their kids’ health care in a private marketplace plan than they do in CHIP. For families with high-needs children, their out of pocket spending could increase up to 24 times, as their out of pocket maximums rise from
Montana’s Healthy Montana Kids program passed by a citizens’ initiative. The initiative passed in all 56 counties and received 70% of the statewide vote. The fact is, Gianforte’s failure to act means Montana will lose $111 million in federal funding for health care for kids. Which brings us to the age-old old question, is he stupid or lying?
This is a fair question since we already know he once told his Campaign Manager Brock Lawrence and his Communications Director Shane Scanlon to lie about what happened when he assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs on that now fateful Montana afternoon.
Thankfully, there are Montanans like John Heenan and Rep. Kathleen Williams who aren’t afraid to tell the truth about the 24,000 kids who will lose health care because of Gianforte’s failure to act. Heenan in an op-ed in the Missoulian and Williams in a fundraising email to her continents.
Montana would be better off with either representing us in Congress.
Ok Montana? Let’s follow Alabama’s lead and take out the trash in 2018.