2018 Election Featured Greg Gianforte Health Care House 2018 Matt Rosendale Montana Politics Senate Race 2018 Steve Daines

Rosendale, Daines, and Gianforte Make It Clear Republicans Cannot Be Trusted on Preexisting Conditions

If there’s one best reason to get out and vote for Jon Tester and Kathleen Williams, it has to be that Republicans simply cannot be trusted on ensuring preexisting conditions will be covered if Republicans retain control of Congress.

As we mentioned earlier in the week, the GOP, realizing that a large percentage of Americans worry about what will happen if the ACA’s protections for people will pre-existing conditions are eliminated, have decided to do what they do on health care: they’re lying about it.

First up, Rosendale, who has been claiming that he would support a plan to protect those with preexisting conditions. Politifact asked Rosendale to explain how he could claim to protect the quarter of Montanans suffering from pre-existing conditions despite supporting junk plans and the elimination of the ACA.

The answer was not reassuring:

We emailed the Rosendale campaign, which sent us links to news and opinion pieces that related to the candidate’s ideas about health care affordability and price transparency. But they did not specifically address how Rosendale would ensure people with pre-existing conditions are not denied coverage.

An editorial in Montana’s largest newspaper, the Billings Gazette, took Rosendale to task for claiming to support protections for those with pre-existing conditions while endorsing short-term plans.

The newspaper cited a study that estimated that a quarter of non-elderly Montana adults have a pre-existing condition that could disqualify them from coverage plans that do not comply with Obamacare.

“As the state’s insurance commissioner, Rosendale should know that the policies he supports do opposite of what he promised,” the editorial read. “He promotes the short-term policies that can reject Montanans who have pre-existing health conditions.”

Earlier in the week, Greg Gianforte also claimed that he supported protections, citing his support for the Pre-existing Conditions Protection Act, a bill designed to give Republican politicians, but not sick people, coverage:

McClatchy contacted numerous health-care experts to evaluate the “Pre-existing Conditions Protection Act,” and they all consider the bill worthless. “They have to cover you, they can’t exclude coverage of your preexisting condition or deny you coverage, but they can charge you a million a month, they can charge you a deterrent premium,” explains Karen Pollitz, senior fellow at Kaiser Family Foundation.

One would expect a reporter to challenge a Congressman on a matter like that, but Gianforte’s personal reporter let him lie to Montanans one more time.

And finally, we come to Senator Daines. On Tuesday morning, he tweeted that “Democrats hype estimates of people with preexisting conditions, linking to a Washington Post story that said only “34 million would face a denial of coverage. ”

To Senator Daines, the fact that 27% of Americans under the age of 65 have a preexisting condition is apparently just a small matter, not worthy of consideration by a millionaire in Congress who gets us to pay for his health care.

I responded to Thacker’s tweet, asking what plan Steve Daines had to protect those millions of Americans, and received no response.

That’s what Montanans get from Republicans on health care: vague plans, lies, and disregard. Don’t fall for their dishonest claims to suddenly care about people who need insurance. They never have, and they never will.


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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