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2020 Governor 2020 House Race Featured Health Care Legislature Montana Politics

MT GOP Proposes Healthcare Policy That Dumps You Off Coverage, Invades Your Privacy

Written by Nathan Kosted
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News stations reported this week that GOP’s bill to cut Medicaid would kick up to 43,000 people off their health insurance and now Republicans are demanding access to your private medical records.

AP News Report: Coverage would plummet with Montana Medicaid Changes.

The reason people would lose their Medicaid coverage is through this complex bureaucratic system of mandated work quotas and monthly reporting. And, Buttrey’s bill would force the state to create a massive surveillance system with an electronic database to monitor Montanans—costing the state millions.

Republicans even went further this week on their quest for a surveillance state. Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have demanded the Department of Public Health and Human Services to hand over millions of detailed personal health records: everything from a person’s HIV status to where they last filled their prescription for an asthma inhaler. Republicans in the committee were unhappy to learn that federal law and the Montana Constitution’s right to privacy prevent DPHHS from giving private health data to these big brother loyalists.

The GOP’s work quotas and surveillance program is a giant scheme to cut Medicaid and give Deloitte, the fourth largest privately owned company, your private information, and a massive government contract to build this surveillance system.

But it’s all a scam. Over 80% of those on Medicaid expansion are already working full-time. The remaining 20% are either too sick to work, disabled, caring for a family member, in school, or completing workforce training programs. Having to report your hours every month into this massive state surveillance program is designed to be complicated and cause user errors. Even if folks in school or caring for a family member are exempted from work quotas, they still must report their exemption each month. And that is where people lose coverage.

The system is designed for the user to fail, forget to report, misreport, or be unable to report because they do not have access to the internet. It is estimated from the George Washington report that 6,000 working or exempted Montanans would lose their healthcare just because they don’t have access to the internet. Arkansas experienced the same internet access issues with their Medicaid surveillance system.

But this is the GOP’s whole goal; cut Medicaid by blaming those on the program for failing to correctly report or report on time.

It’s not the GOP’s fault you got sick and missed the mandated hours they created for you each month.

It’s not the GOP’s fault that you didn’t know family caretakers were exempted and failed to report that.

It’s not the GOP’s fault that you work on a farm and didn’t have access to the internet to report on time.

It’s not the GOP’s fault you are in school and missed your monthly report due to finals week

It’s not the GOP’s fault. It’s your fault.

And Deloitte gets a huge payday with our tax dollars when we could have used that money to help Montanans keep their healthcare.

A work quota system is just the latest scheme by the GOP to cut Medicaid. Tell your legislators to vote against this plan and this giant kickback to Deloitte.

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.