ALEC Legislator Pushes Idea That Has Already Failed 22 Times

Wendy Warburton should not be conducting political campaigns with taxpayer dollars.

Wendy Warburton, R-ALEC

by Cowgirl

If you want to appreciate the failure that marks GOP ideas, consider the latest from Wendy Warburton.  This TEA Party Republican has brought back a bill to legalize discrimination in insurance pricing that has previous failed to pass no fewer than 22 times.

This will be the 23rd attempt.  What’s new this year is that the insurance industry now has the audacity to get a woman sponsor the discrimination bill–and of course the growing influence of ALEC.   ALEC junketer Wendy Warburton is carrying the bill at the behest of Big Insurance – the industry that spent more than any other on lobbying during the last legislative session.   HB 600 would allow insurance companies to base rates on gender rather than driving records–discrimination which the Montana Constitution specifically prohibits.

The Montana Constitution (Article II, § 4) expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, physical or mental disability, age, or national origin.

The GOP also see this bill as a way to continue their War on Women, in which Wendy Warburton is a leading soldier.  When asked why there weren’t more Republican women running for office, Warburton said, “the biggest reason that more women who are Republicans don’t get into politics is because we are the pro-family party.”  Yes, GOP ladies are home raising kids like the women of the pro-family party should be.

Republicans want to allow the discrimination because they say they have “actuarial data” that shows differences between the sexes that insurance companies want to use that as an excuse to raise rates on half the population.

It’s also important to note that Big Insurance has these stats for people based on race too, but we don’t see them asking for a bill to allow racial discrimination–at least not yet.  Perhaps ALEC will put out a model bill.

Other ALEC bills this session include:

HB 280 by Rep. Cary Smith “authorize choice for out-of-state health insurance.” (Bill allows insurance companies to avoid Montana consumer protections by off-shoring an office in another state.)

HB 544 by Scott Reichner and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. (It removes laws prohibiting insurance companies from lowering payments for out-of-network physicians.)

 HB 191 by Nancy Ballance – another interstate health care compact bill, this one has somehow died

HB 162 by Kelly Flynn – Require the state to use high deductible plans and health savings accounts for state employees (to generate more business for insurance companies who run these plans)

SB 374 by Dave Lewis – Establish charter schools 

HB 213 Steve Fitzpatrick – Tax credits to subsidize private schools


SB 253 by Janna Taylor Fake “regulation” designed to bog, sap resources and disempower unions.

 SB 219 by Janna Taylor, Gut the free association and speech rights of public employees and unions

LC 2065 by Joanne Blyton Referendum to gut public employee unions.

I have it on good authority that HJ 20 by Roger Webb is actually drafted through a collaborative effort of health care professionals and providers in Yellowstone County and is not the product of ALEC.

The ALEC model bill by Endo Pharmaceuticals which would also “study ways limit prescription drug abuse” does so by limiting the availability of generic drugs.


15 Comments on "ALEC Legislator Pushes Idea That Has Already Failed 22 Times"

  1. Webb’s drug resolution — SJ-20 — was supported by prominent Democrats such as Mary Caferro and Christine Kaufmann. My reading of the bill is that it’s designed to make opioid painkillers more difficult to obtain, especially for patients with chronic pain that does not respond well to other medications. The stated aim is reducing “prescription drug abuse.” But the great danger is that obtaining opioid painkillers will become more difficult and costly for people in pain; that physicians will become more reluctant to prescribe opioids for fear of running afoul of DEA zealots. The result, more pain left untreated or inadequately treated.

  2. That’s the problem- I’m sure ALEC didn’t tell Kaufmann and Sesso that this was their bill or what the true purpose is. They also provide talking points so they told Webb how to present the bill as a innocuous good thing. How were legislators to know otherwise- there needs to be an analysis by someone of all the bills and a website where lawmakers can check to see if the bills are from ALEC and what the true purpose is.

  3. Ingemar Johansson | March 19, 2013 11:40 AM at 11:40 AM |

    All this talk about insurance companies influences but nary a word about the impacts of Obamacare.

    • Norma Duffy @Ilikewoods | March 19, 2013 12:35 PM at 12:35 PM |

      …As Ingy reads from one of the Biggest supporters of Propaganda and ALEC in our nation… the Heritage Foundation. Bought and swallowed that codswallop didn’t ya Ingy?

      The pink slime of conservationism!

  4. Ok, I’ve had enough!

    Cowgirl, clearly you have absolutely no idea what you’re writing about here. Your blog is interesting and sometimes I nearly pee my pants at some of the hysterical references, but this one is over the top. Not because of any sensationalism, but its just plain b.s.

    Now you are not the first lib to make a stink about this issue, clearly one of the facts you have right is on the number of times this has been tried in the Legislature, but enough is enough! You must consider the facts about insurance here, not your emotional considerations about gender discrimination or whatever or your political ideology.

    FACT: Insurance companies maintain actuarial risk profiles on nearly every human activity including occupational hazards, personal health, financial earning power and money management, age, gender, etc. From a purely statistical standpoint, it is not just the GOP who maintains there is an actuarial difference between males and females, it is statistical fact as it relates to risk. For example, women live longer than men. Women are statistically more likely to live 5 years longer than men, 75.7 years for men as opposed to 80.8 years for women on average. Why should women be charged the same as a man for life insurance? Men are charged for maternity coverage in their health insurance rates because of unisex provisions, a coverage as a man I will never utilize. Men are statistically safer drivers than women of the same age and ability. This has been proven in study after study both independent and government funded. Its not discrimination to be rated based on performance.

    Montana is the only state in the union to utilize unisex rating. Just that mere fact alone means Montanans will pay more for insurance because the companies must maintain a separate rating system, underwriting system, than any other state and the costs associated with this are passed on to consumers like you and me.

    Are we to assume our progressive friends in California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, etc. are purposefully discriminating against their citizens by permitting insurance companies to rate for gender? I think not.

    This really isn’t about gender discrimination, that’s pure myth and if you think the insurance industry wants to take away unisex because it will cost more money, that’s nonsense, just ask someone in the insurance industry and they will tell you Montana has higher rates across the board.

    One other comment I’d make is on your reference to big insurance and the link to the Gazette article…do you know what the Montana Life & Health Insurance Guarantee Association is? My guess is you don’t or you wouldn’t have written that line. The MLHIGA is the backup program set up by the Legislature decades ago to step in when an insurer becomes insolvent. It is not an insurance company or a lobbying group for or against unisex rating. This organization is a consumer protection entity designed to take control of failed insurance companies and pay claims to policyholders.

    So enough is enough of this ridiculous fight and get with the program. The Montana Constitution prohibits discrimination for sure, but this is not at all what members of the convention envisioned when they wrote that protection into our Constitution. Common sense needs to prevail here and let the consumer have a break for a change!

    • How dare YOU intrude facts into a blog discussion!

      For the obvious record, HLV, I agree with you. However, I also have *no* faith in Insurance companies. I believe that should Montana strike down it’s unisex ratings law, Insurance collectives will keep the present driver’s coverage for males and raise that for females to compensate for the higher actuarial rating. In life insurance, the same will apply reversing gender, even though a very large proportion of higher Montana wage earners and life insurance holdings are for (against the more likely death of) males. It really is a conundrum, one that Insurance companies will always use to advantage.

    • Norma Duffy @Ilikewoods | March 20, 2013 10:52 AM at 10:52 AM |

      Fact is “Hiline” Women outlive men by nearly 10 years. basically stay healthier then men today, and shouldn’t have to pay more but even less as fars as I am concerned, because we take better care of ourselves, than our male counterparts.

      So equal footing in Insurance should be at least that norm…

      And men didn’t make the Montana constitution all by themselves, there were 19 woman delegates at the time of its writing to make sure woman got a fair shake

      INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY. The dignity of the human being is inviolable.
      No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Neither the state nor any person, firm, corporation, or institution shall discriminate against any person in the exercise of his civil or political rights on account of race, color, sex, culture, social origin or condition, or political or religious ideas.

      Our state is one of the few ahead of the curve. I think every woman I know would fight to make sure that exists.

      And you nonsense that it costs more for the insurance company to write such policies for Montana is pure nonsense. Every state in the union has laws that affecting written insurance policies of some sort.

      Your Comments on the fact that it is more injurious to write a policy for women… is just … flat ass sexism.

  5. I expect my legislators to know what they are voting on, I guess getting duped occasionally is normal but if the democrats can’t bother to research what they are voting on what’s the point?

  6. Norma Duffy @Ilikewoods | March 20, 2013 9:59 PM at 9:59 PM |

    Actually I agree with you that it would be nice to have Single Payer, but with all of the wishing, phone calls, and polling that proved all Americans wanted it….It did nothing to persuade the right. it was a 60-to-39 party-line vote. in the senate on christmas eve in 2009, for Obama care…. And since it was passed the House has voted 32 times to repeal all or part of health-care reform thru the end of 2012 alone.

    Kinda paints a picture that one side doesn’t want anything to do with keeping America healthy.

    As for women they follow under the same unequal rules as unmarried people have. They have the same problems with health insurance as single folk do:

    Employers are free to define families as they choose, and to allocate insurance coverage accordingly- often unequally.

    Unmarried people pay higher premiums, and are responsible for higher deductibles than are the individual members of a marriage or married family.

    Greater numbers of unmarried people cannot afford health insurance. This is especially true for unmarried women who live at or below poverty level.

    There are no discounts offered to the unmarried, as there are for legally married couples and families.

    Unmarried partners are not recognized as health care decision makers without the preparation of specific legal directives.

    Employers may exclude unmarried partners from any coverage at all.

    Employers often pay the tax associated with adding spouses to medical plans; this benefit is rarely offered to same-sex married couples or unmarried partners….And some of this is why getting rid of DOMA, will have a good backdoor transparency to policy holders of health insurance as well.

    Wendy Warburton, is just a schill to ALEC and insurance policies, she actually has no idea what the hell she is doing to the Montana population at large.

    Though I have spoken about woman, because Obviously I have experience, this insurance law she sponsors well hurt far more then woman, it will hurt single, and non married folks as well.

  7. Thus the problem with liberals and the under-informed coalitions they comprise. There is so much they know that simply isn’t so. Wendy perpetuates the stereotype by blogging about something she knows absolutely nothing about. HB600 has NOTHING to do with auto insurance or driving records. What stupidity. It is a bill to allow the use of industry-approved actuarial standards based on sex in establishing health insurance premium rates. This will HELP lower women’s health insurance premiums, dope. The war on women continues to be fought on the Left. God, deliver us. These fat people can vote.

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