2018 Election Featured Health Care Jon Tester Matt Rosendale Montana Politics Senate Race 2018

A Vote for Matt Rosendale Would Be a Disaster for Montanans With Pre-Existing Conditions

UNITED STATES - August 29: Matt Rosendale (R) Montana during an interview at Roll Call in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Matt Rosendale just can’t stop lying about healthcare.

One lie, about what would happen to Montanans with preëxisting conditions were he to be elected, could have devastating consequences for 150,000 people across the state.

Because it polls well, Rosendale and other Republicans tell voters that they will “protect Montanans with preëxisting conditions,” but what they don’t tell voters is that they not only don’t have any plans to do so, but that they have worked to undermine those protections. Back in August, Rosendale told the people of Montana he would support a plan that continued those protections, increase consumer freedom, and reduce premiums, but it’s an entirely disingenuous plan that will put the health of Montanans at risk.

The math simply doesn’t add up, and as Montana Public Radio noted this week, Rosendale doesn’t have any actual plan to achieve any of these aims:

“Since I entered into the Auditor’s office, I’ve worked to try and cover pre-existing conditions,” Rosendale said.

But that’s about as specific as Rosendale has been on how he thinks people with pre-existing conditions could remain covered if Obamacare is repealed. When we asked Kyle Schmauch, a spokesman for the auditor’s office about details, he said: “It depends on what kind of bill Congress would vote on.

That’s as close to a plan as Rosendale is to being a rancher.

When Rosendale backed the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he did so knowing that Republicans, despite controlling Congress for four years, didn’t have a replacement plan that covered pre-existing conditions, maintained funding for Montana community health and hospitals, or offered affordable, effective coverage to the working poor and middle class.

The repeal Rosendale supports would devastate rural health care coverage and would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for people suffering from asthma, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other conditions from securing insurance coverage.

Rosendale’s Supports Junk Insurance that Won’t Cover Almost Anything

Pressed to explain what he believes could protect Montanans, candidate Rosendale has touted junk short-term insurance plans sold by the very same companies whose executives have funneled money into his election campaign.

But those plans simply will not protect Montanans with preëxisting conditions as Rosendale’s own web page from his day job as the State Auditor notes:

Are pre-existing conditions required to be covered under a short-term policy?

No – Pre-existing conditions can be excluded from a short-term policy. This is a condition for which medical advice or treatment was recommended by or received from a provider of health care services within a certain time frame (typically the last 5 years) before the effective date of the coverage.

And that’s not all. The short-term plans are so bad that they might not even cover prescription drugs, emergency services, or even hospitalization. Again, from the Auditor’s page:

Are there other potential coverage limitations?

Yes – In addition to pre-existing conditions there may be exclusions or limitations regarding health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency services, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). Your policy might also have lifetime and/or annual dollar limits on health benefits and you may also be responsible for co-pay and deductible amounts.

In other words, the health care plans Rosendale thinks Montanans should use cover everything you could need as long as you aren’t sick, don’t get sick, and won’t get sick.

That Matt Rosendale just can’t tell the truth has been apparent from the opening of his campaign for the Senate. Some lies, like his claim to be a rancher, are little more than an old joke about an Eastern poseur who wants to come West to play cowboy.

His lies about health care, though, matter. Montanans with preëxisting conditions should know that a vote for Rosendale means a vote for someone who will vote to end their access to affordable healthcare and Montanans across the state should be asking why Rosendale is pimping his office (one designed to oversee insurance companies) to shill for health insurance plans that don’t protect our health or offer any insurance.

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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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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