Posted: February 1, 2013 at 7:57 am

“Do as We Say, Not as We Do” Budgeting

Rep. Austin Knudsen, who gave the GOP response to Steve Bullock’s blockbuster State of the State address two nights ago, has collected over $700,000 in cash from federal farm subsidies.  But in his speech, Knudsen adamantly refused to support an expansion of Medicaid, which would allow struggling Montanans to get medical care which they cannot now afford.

Knudsen’s told the state on Wednesday that “Republican’s are concerned about Federal funding.”  He said, ”we can’t put Montanans at risk by building a budget that over relies on the federal government…After all: it’s not our money. It belongs to the people of Montana.”

Knudsen was arguing that Montana should reject the opportunity to reduce costs and expand access to health care for nearly 70,000 more Montanans by rejecting the opportunity to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.

As Governor Bullock explained, the opportunity to provide this access to Medicaid (called Access Health Montana) will create thousands of new jobs-13,000 in the next few years-by bringing millions of dollars of new economic activity to Montana.

Several states with Republican Governors have already opted in, including: Arizona (yes, Governor Jan Brewer is supporting it), Nevada, New Mexico and North Dakota (statistically the most conservative state in America). Only a handful of states have refused the opportunity altogether.

By the way, State Rep. Keith Regier, another proud ultra-conservative who runs around Montana railing against excessive spending and the evils of “too much government”, has collected $380,000.  Regier once compared women to cattle, in the context of abortion.

 

76 comments

  1. JohnC

    So, how do these brain-dead idiots get themselves elected again and again? Are we really that shallow??

  2. Bill LaCroix

    I always check Montana Cowgirl to find out what I should be outraged about next. Must be a quirk in my psychological make-up (does anyone else have trouble spelling “psychological”?) I made up a list of naughty legislators a couple of weeks ago using ALEC, farm subsidies and wingnuttery and posted it on my blog:
    http://billlacroix.blogspot.com/2013/01/montana-legislators-who-benefit-from.html
    It’s a preliminary list and I’ve already got several add-ons that I’ll post by transmittal time. I find it’s helpful to have a bulletin board or spreadsheet for these inestimable ones with “annoying-things-they-do-that-will-tank-us-as-a-free-and-open-society-if-they-get-away-with-it” categories so you can kinda keep score, if nothing else. If anyone wants to share new and revealing annoying things I’d be glad to add them to the tally. I’m betting that by the end of the session I will definitively-identify ALL the Republican legislators as EXTREMELY annoying in the above context. Sorry all you “fair and balanced” folks. Just read their state party’s platform and if we to the left of Attila actually weren’t being “fair and balanced” we could sweep them all into history’s dustbin on the strength of that insult alone.

  3. Havre Voter

    Rank hypocrisy such as this has gone unremarked upon by the mainstream press, but perhaps Ochenski or John Adams will take this on. For example, I don’t see any of these legislators railing against the 400 million in federal highway funding that comes to the state every year and all the construction jobs that creates. What is the difference here- besides that a black president Obama was involved.

  4. Norma Duffy @Ilikewoods

    its totally amazing isn’t it? State Reps giving away state rights to the government? Thats right folks, all the GOP that is against state rights are giving up on protecting it citizens, by not expanding Medicare.

    Let me give you,the story our State Controller told a group of us down here in Dillon last October( Loosley translated and in Normaese, as She called no one names but I intend too).

    By Being the Dumb conservatives they are (and not really Conservative but confused because no one on the right reads the Fine print) they are taking away the states right to investigate Medical fraud and Outrageous Insurance Hikes by insurance Companies! thats right folks we may not be able to take Predatory Insurance Companies and Hospitals to task in a court of law.

    The state will also lose countless millions of dollars to put together good plans tailored especially to the Montana Lifestyle of this states people.

    No matter what the tea party legislature does will be a Moot Point, because the US government will build the exchanges, and Montana jobs will be lost because of the stupidity!

    Lastly I know you Re-tead’s will point to Brian, our last Gov as downing the Idea in 2011 but, since then even he is on Board with Montana building its own exchanges. You see he has finally read that fine print and knows the only way to protect Montanans is to give them as much choice and say as possible! Protecting the Montana Public from predatory companies like Insurance.

    • Cowgirl

      Dunn, Did you read the information posted at that link? This is a map of Governors’ current positions on opting-in. The Governor has included the opt-in in his budget.

      Montana: Gov.-elect Steve Bullock (D) — who takes office on Jan. 7 — on Jan. 4 announced several changes to outgoing Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s (D) two-year budget recommendations, but retained the proposal to expand Medicaid. During a news conference, Bullock said the Medicaid expansion is part of his “Access Health Montana” plan to increase health care coverage for more Montana families. (Johnson, Billings Gazette, 1/5; Johnson, Montana Standard, 1/5).

      Thanks for being a Cowgirl blog reader!

      • Craig Moore

        Cowgirl, your link is misleading as the interactive map has Montana in “blue” as participating. Also, Montana is listed under the states which are PARTICIPATING . Why wasn’t Montana under the LEANING TOWARD PARTICIPATING group????

          • Craig Moore

            The heading over the map states, “What are the States Saying about ACA Medicaid Expansion?” In the lower left on the map is says, “Where the States Stand”

            • Rob Kailey

              For fuck’s sake, Craig. You are seriously arguing about a color on an online map? As of this point, and even before Bullock was elected, Montana is participating in the Medicaid expansion. When the bat-crap crazy legislature decides that Montanans don’t need health care, then the situation will have changed. Until then, you are bitching about nothing. You just want to lay cover fire for the bat-crap crazy when they have to justify their stupidity to the people who will suffer for it.

              • Craig Moore

                I didn’t know there was a argument over what the color is. The map I see has Montana in deep blue, PARTICIPATING in ACA Medicaid expansion. Exactly the same as the article itself lists Montana as having done. As I wrote, there is a LEANING category, light blue. What color do you see? Not sure what all your fury is about.

                • Rob Kailey

                  Fury? Really? Craig, you took a blogger to task over a color you didn’t agree with, and I’m the furious one? Sooner or later, you will understand when I’m laughing at you, as opposed to being ‘furious’.

  5. MTNativeEyes

    No one who hasn’t actually had to make the choice whether to pay the hospital or the insurance company premium doesn’t get to participate in this debate. OK, if you cared deeply about someone who did, you can contribute.

    • Rob Kailey

      Just for the record, there are those of us, well-insured, who still avoid the doctor’s office because of deductibles and co-pays. Our choices often involve choosing to pay the mortgage, the car payment or the power bill as opposed to the co-pay or covering the deductible. Too often, such folk end up in the hospital because there was no other choice. There are many of us who do not have a choice about paying for our insurance ‘coverage’; it is a condition of our employment. But co-pays and deductibles certainly don’t go away just because we have to pay for what we can’t use without scrimping somewhere else.

      I just kinda think those folk ought to have a say in this too.

      • Lynn

        The good thing about actually having insurance after over 10 years is I have it if something really bad happens. The bad thing is I can’t afford to use it for checkups etc.

          • Lynn

            Craig, I make less than 20,000, a year…..After I pay the Mortgage, heat the house, eat, insure the car (which is 18 years old) there is nothing left to save

            • Craig Moore

              Ouch!!!! Sorry about that. Just what do you do, if you don’t mind sharing? Is it possible to divert your monthly internet access charges to an MSA?

                • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

                  A good job helping people with a ting above minimum pay. I am on call doing the same as Lynn does for years now. satisfying but, mostly without full benefits and large copays. I admire your skill Lynn, it is a hard job, that should have better pay and better labor benefits!

                  • Lynn

                    It’s good work in a lot of ways, I just hope we don’t end up with pay and hour cuts after this Legislature’s session. The pay needs to go up not down.

                    • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

                      A lot of people in Montana don’t know our pay as caregivers is determined by the Legislature, instead of Business. That part of giving back to the community definitely sucks, when left in the hands of people who have no clue what you do!

            • Craig Moore

              Also, do you have cable or satellite TV? You seem to be a devotee of watching Fox News as you frequently comment about it. If you were to switch to antenna TV, couldn’t you divert the savings to an MSA?

              • Lynn

                Have not had Cable in years. Have Internet ONLY,
                since I need it to look for jobs, apply for them. Where did you get the idea I watch Fox?

                • Craig Moore

                  Lynn, seem to recall many derisive comments about others who you accuse of watching Fox News.

                  Now, there is free Wi-Fi at libraries, coffee shops, McDonald’s, etc. Saving just $40 a month on internet would pay for yearly health checkups.

                  • Lynn

                    Thanks Craig, but after working my butt off all day, I like to stay home. I save my money by packing lunch etc, and can go tothe Dr. IF I have to. You have to BUY stuff at McDonalds etc, plus drive there plus have a Laptop. What gets me is after a person pays the preminium each month, co -pays and deductibles should not be so high. But I guess insurance executives MUST have at least 2 Homes and several toys, ie boats etc.

                    http://echealthinsurance.com/health101/health-insurance-ceo-salary/

                    At least our legislators don’t have a deal like Fl. http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/01/gov-rick-scott-house-members-paying-less-for-health-insurance-than-rank-and-file-state-workers.html

                    • Craig Moore

                      Insurance never plays with its own money in the burning layer where it is just a matter of trading dollars and financing costs. Yes, you can “insure” a burning house, but the cost is astronomical and is all about lending money. If a company cannot make a profit on unknown risk through an actuarial determined stream of payouts using the law of large numbers, they will make it on lending money for known cost streams and a certainty of revenue.

                  • MTNativeEyes

                    Please be sensitive with the “helpful” budget solutions unless you’ve worked an honest 40 hours, burned through the food stamps (mortifying) and spent $5 on groceries for kids and none of it was paper money. It is one of the most humiliating experiences, ever.

                    • Lynn

                      I know what you mean….Craig sounds like my sister, whose husbands makes 100,000 a year, can’t understand why I don’t go to the doctor, or have a car like hers…..

                    • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

                      Craig unless you have lived on the edge like we have, You do not understand what we have been through. try caring for your family, by leaving two good business you owned behind to come back home, and lose every penny you have keeping them and yourself in the home. Better yet, be stuck in the world with a three year old daughter as a single mother, the only safe shelter for half a year is your car. The reason a lot of us understand the plight of people in harms way is because…. we have lived it and survived it to varying degrees.

                      It is not because we do not work hard, it is because we play by the golden rule, sharing what we have because we have been there. I believe that is the best part of America, and probably the most at risk by corporate takeovers, Corrupt Politicians, and people willing to be the lapdogs of both.

                    • Craig Moore

                      Norma and Lynn, been there. I learned the value of prioritizing spending choices and being resourceful. Back in those days there wasn’t wi-fi or the internet, but seeking out free access versus paying for it would have been on my list. When not funding the deductible for healthcare is below discretionary spending choices like the internet it seems to indicate that yearly checkups are just not that important. That’s merely an observation, not a value judgment on others choices.

                    • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

                      Did you just punk women again?

                      Your still saying we women don’t know what you do to find Money, or spend it Craig. Really?
                      We also, Prioritize spending choices. The internet is a good spending priority for people who need their money to go farther. like clothes, shoes, hell even parts for cars in Montana. I find the internet saves me countless dollars on driving to Butte to shop Dillon doesn’t have a complete line up of the goods necessary for a better basic life. I dont have to drive 63 miles on Icy roads. to find anything. I pay my bills online, the gas I save every year is in the thousands because of the internet!

        • Rob Kailey

          The *sad* thing is that even excellent coverage for major medical (a situation that is inevitable because insurance won’t cover check-ups and preventatives) can still bankrupt the average middle class person or family. A 20% co-pay on a $30,000 hospital /emergency visit is still $6,000 out of pocket. The median adjusted gross income for Americans with dual income is about $60,000. So, 1/10th of one’s yearly take home income can be lost to one illness, (not even taking deductible into account) which might have been prevented by payed check-ups.

  6. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Wait, WHAT?? Not Hoo Ha man, keith reiger, too?? Hoo Ha man spends WAY too much time worrying about his lady parts. (remember “pregtested”?) And now, you go and tell me that Hoo Ha man is sucking LARGE off’n Unca Sugartit too??

    Oh me oh my! What has BECOME of our anti-gubmint crusaders?! They’ve been SUCKED into sucking offn’ Unca Sugartit! The flesh is willing but the suckers are weak!

    And pissant Knudsen too? Thirty-one years old. A Reagan baby. And yet, just LOOK at the lips on the black welfare farmer! And it’s generational! The old MAN was a black welfare farmer, and now the kid too! How WILL we break this cycle of black welfare farmers? I dunno. I dunno.

    But I DID do a little research into Scandahoovian names. Seems that Knudeson is from the early Norse word “knude”, which is from the ancient Norse word “knuke”, the plural of which is “knukers”, which loosely translates to English today as “knockers”, which means that Knudeson literally translates as “one who is sucking off gubmint knockers”!

    VIOLA! THAT explains a whole lot, don’t it?!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      What’s truly amazing about these bottom feeders is that they have NO shame. But you see, them inbred black welfare farmers like the knudesens are really quite an interesting lot. They truly believe that the center of the universe is their farm out there in East Overshoe, Montana. Very, very strange breed. Very unsophisticated and provincial. In literature, they would be the buffoons from the country.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Can we please stop throwing people in JAIL for this shit, Assman? And all you other rightwing fascist morons? (Guv. Bull’ock’em’up?) Look, sure, you’ll HAVE full employment when one half of the country is in jail and the other half is guarding them, but really, is that an improvement? It’s quite obvious that these assholes like the Assman have never known anyone who needed medical marijuana.

    http://montanafesto.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/announcement-tonight-1162013-regarding-mtcia-injunction/

    • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

      Yeah I shed a couple of tears, but after watching Ravens run over the Patriots, I could only hope, a football fools hope they wouldn’t do it to the Niners….. I must have been somewhat dillusional.

      Oh well their a young team. After fighting back from the dark hole of being skunked and Proving they don’t give up…. I expect they will be back in the playoffs next year.

  8. Craig Moore

    Kurtz, I believe people of faith who are farmers were probably toooo busy reflecting on the Dodge truck commercial that featured Paul Harvey’s speech:

    And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

    God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

    It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

    • larry kurtz

      As i refuse to partake of anything american football, Craig, replaying the video of that advert on HuffPost this morning reminded me that without unca sugatit even Monsanto would die as Chrysler would have. teevee makes me puke and usurping Paul Harvey’s reactionary prose seemed like just another device to sell crap.

      • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

        Exactly said Larry, and quite sad! In those days Paul Harvey was the sane voice of the American People. He never used color against color, never Hobbled Woman, cared for the American Landscape and believed in keeping children safe.
        But he was roundly criticized for his Ideas Being bought!
        “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is,” he once said.

        Harvey was known for — and the reason I stopped listening to him — for switching from his commentary to reading his commercials.

        • Norma Duffy @ilikewoods

          Lastly if corporations had their chance today, they would cripple every independent Farmer till he sold the family farm, and gave away their land to fracking, poisoned their crops with chemicals and made every farmer who survived that. work like the Tyson chicken farmers do now. Owning nothing, and Basically a foreman for hire!

          Monsanto and Bayer trying to own the seeds in the ground, every time you plant, and leaving the American Farmer to wither on the vine like every heritage vegetable, left to mankind

  9. Mike

    Did anyone else have a problem with the House taking Saturday, Jan. 26 off with pay? The get two years of health insurance at $700+ a month for 90 days (and a few meeting here and there) just for being a legislator. Plus they get $100 for per diem, and most of them have a good income anyway. So why did they need the extra money, esp. regarding that they don’t want any low income Montanan to get any money for health care, food, housing, etc. It seems to be a double standard to me.

  10. I'm just sayingn......

    The only onew who need a spanking here are maybe the hipocrites…SHAME on Knudsen…What do you want to bet he is spending his Daddy’s money too?

  11. What?

    ATTENTION ALL GOPer’s Please call Culbertson, Montana Immediately….They want the village idiot back…..

    • TripleS

      All the Guntards and Teabaggers in Culbertson love that effing SOB. They think he’s doing god’s work. God on the other hand says she doesn’t know him.

  12. I'm just sayin.....

    YUP….that is what happens when you marry your cousin……

    How about a test ?…given before you are allowed to breed?