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Energy Environment Health Care Montana Legislature

MT Senate: “Lets deny health care to thousands to prop up obsolete coal plants”

Even after kissing GOP derriere by allowing work requirements in order to continue Medicaid expansion, Democrats got reamed by Montana Senate Republicans who voted down the expansion in a tie vote.

The main reason for the the GOP ‘no’ votes was to keep CO2-belching Colstrip plants on life support. From Lee Newspapers’ Holly K. Michels:

After the vote, Sen. Al Olszewski, a Republican from Kalispell, said he speculated that voting down the expansion bill was meant to send a message to Gov. Steve Bullock over a bill related to the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip.

The irony here: let’s tie health care for low and middle-income families to a dying, climate-changing technology.

And, yo, Democrats, how’s the bipartisanship working out for you? You’ll concede Republican amendments on even modest bills that might help Montanans yet that same legislation will be killed by the GOP if it has even a whiff of thoughtfulness or kindness.

Apparently, there continues to be a chance to make a difference on this bill (HB 658-Medicaid Expansion). Contact these senators and see if they still, although doubtful, have a heart:

Sen. Ankney (SD 20- Colstrip)

Sen. Hoven (SD 13- Great Falls)

Sen. Richmond (SD- 28 Billings)

Sen. Tempel (SD- 14 Chester)

Sen. Thomas (SD- 44 Stevensville)

Sen. Welborn (SD- 36 Dillon)

Playing politics with peoples’ lives just to snub the governor and advance a obsolescent energy technology bill says it all about Montana’s GOP.


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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • All the mouth-frothing from the right on evil socialism and welfare, but hey!!, lets give a great big handout to an out of state company with a horrible track record and no strings attached. William Clark lives again! It’s going to be epic to watch all the ailing unemployed Trump welfare queens have to pay the exorbitant power bills that will be coming down the pike. Maybe they will all apply for LIEAP in the winters if its still around! Funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • Every time I think I have seen the worst behavior by our GOP legislators, they do something even more despicable. It is time for us to throw the bums out!

    Maybe we can cut off their healthcare insurance?

  • “We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor.” ? Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

    …..and that is exactly how the MTGOP likes it and exactly what the modern Koch Agenda GOP fights for. Every modern Republican politician really hates the U.S. Constitution, especially the “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare” parts.

    Unfortunately until the MT Democratic Party takes educating the voters seriously, and stops forcing us to march closer and closer to the extreme right (Tester’s dream), we will forever stay in the Republican race to the bottom.

    • It’s nice to see you finally admit it, that the Dems couldn’t care less about all those Union jobs created by the mine and the power plant.

      Do not doubt me – the voters will remember. Hopefully this turn to the left the Dems think is popular should ensure that they are a permanent minority in Helena.

        • Well, at the risk of being too simple, I have to ask you if you are aware that the voters rejected Medicaid Expansion in Montana, just last November?

          Why should you expect the legislature to overturn that vote?

      • Oh, we care about union jobs but prefer they’re in clean, sustainable industries, not dirty, obsolete ones. It’s called forward thinking.

        And if you think the voters are going to turn against the Democrats because they won’t vote to prop up a dying industry while sticking ratepayers with the high cost of maintaining ancient technology and millions of dollars in cleanup, wait to see who turns on whom when Republicans torpedo health care for 96,000 Montanans.

      • Hahaha!!! Democrats support unionized buggy whips?!? What the voters will remember is that some spaghetti western rejects decided to hold around 10% of the state’s health hostage for a crony corporate welfare bill to prop up a dying industry. Just think how proud y’all can be when your neighbors can’t see a doctor from hacking out their lungs from coal smoke and paying out the backside to subsidize the cleanup when Northwestern closes Colstrip in a year or two!! Way to be bigly MAGA 🙁

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