TEA Party Lawmaker Outraged Over a Problem He Created

Lies don't become him.

Sen. Fred Thomas R-Ravalli County

That state legislator Fred Thomas (R-TEA Ravalli County) is outraged about Obamacare is not news to anyone.

What’s ridiculous is that the problem he’s so worked up about is one of his own creation. Instead of directing his outrage at the television cameras, he should look in the mirror and ask himself why he insisted on blocking the Medicaid expansion–health coverage for 50,000 working poor Montanans.

In an interim committee of the Montana Legislature last week, Thomas said he was upset about a family who earns under 100% of the federal poverty level.  This family, a legislative staff report found, was too poor to qualify for a subsidized plan on the insurance marketplace and would have to pay full price–and a full price plan would cost them 40% more than a health plan without the standards that the health care reform law requires be met.

The scenario was featured in a report by the Legislative Auditor, undertaken on behalf of Thomas himself.    During the committee meeting, Thomas waived the report in front of the television cameras, spouting vitriol about the havoc Obamacare has wrought upon this family.

Problem is, this family’s plight isn’t the fault of the Affordable Care Act, this problem was created by the Montana Legislature.

The only reason this family is in that situation is because Rep. Fred Thomas and his fellow TEA Partiers refused federal funds to pay for health coverage for the working poor.  The reason that there are now some 50,000 people in Montana who are too poor to qualify for health insurance subsidies through Obamacare is that they were supposed to be eligible for health coverage for Medicaid.  That is, until the Supreme Court ruled that states could choose the reject the federal funding to pay for health care for their own working poor citizens.

The new health care reform law requires that nearly all of the costs of the Medicaid expansion (100 percent for the first three years, phasing down to 90 percent in 2020 and all subsequent years) will be paid for by the federal government.  The Affordable Care Act didn’t include subsidized insurance plans for people whose jobs paid less than 100% of the poverty level because Obamacare made them eligible for Medicaid. But Montana legislators thought that taking a vote to spite President Obama was more important than health care for the working poor, and so they lined up against the federal dollars, and many families will be forced to go without.

Tip of the hat to Sen. Dick Barrett’s blog, which featured a post last week about how Fred Thomas lied about the findings of his own staff’s report.  Sen. Barrett, a Democrat from Missoula, is also a retired professor of economics.  Dr. Barrett’s blog is a great source of “commentaries on political, social and economic issues of interest to Montanans.”  It’s well worth a read, and I’ve added it to the blogroll here.

Posted: December 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm

This post was written by Cowgirl

29 thoughts on “TEA Party Lawmaker Outraged Over a Problem He Created

  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    Mary Moe does a superb job of responding to morons like Freddy boy, Mr. Dereg! You see, Freddy almost singlehandedly gave us energy dereg. EVERY thing freddy touches turns to shit! Thas just the way he is! The was a teatard before it was cool! And now, he complains when HIS shit hits the fan! Anybody out there really feel sorry for dereg boy? Not me! He’s an idiot!

  2. Jan Thomas

    Leave it to Bitterrooters to re-elect the man who sponsored the energy deregulation bill! While you pay through the nose this winter, think of him.

    1. Vicki Dawson

      This Bitterroot’er didn’t vote for him or any of the other Tea Partiers. Count me horrified.

      1. Moorcat

        Fred Thomas was an idiot as a teenager and he is still an idiot now. Why anyone would vote for him is beyond me. If I still lived in the Valley, I wouldn’t vote for him and I damn sure would encourage other to vote against him.

        Sadly, I don’t live in the Valley and he will continue to get elected because he is the name everyone knows. There are some people that live there that are smart enough NOT to allow this idiot to continue to hurt Montanans, but the majority there is still too steeped in the “Good Old Boy” network that has existed there long before we lived there. Fred is one of the “Good Old Boys” and even if he was to be replaced, it would be with another “Good Old Boy”.

        One can only hope that when Ravalli County finally does go bankrupt (something likely to occur with their current path) or when the State steps in because of the blatantly illegal things they do with development there, that the people of the County wake the hell up.

        What really disturbs me is that some of the people I grew up with there actually don’t seem to understand just how much damage this idiot (and people like him) have done to them personally. Thomas carrying the water for the deregulation was just one of many moves this wingnut has done that have directly and painfully effected Montanans. I have tried to explain it to them, but what I keep getting is “You don’t live here anymore, you just don’t understand”.

  3. Pat Tucker

    Great job! You could devote your whole blog to Bitterroot political shenanigans. This kind of stuff can’t be made up. Every day I wake up wondering what they’ve come up with to wow me now.

  4. Corrine Gantt

    Fred Thomas wrote an editorial on Oct 23 this year, doubling down on why the vote to turn back Medicaid was in the best interests of Montanans-
    ” We were rightly concerned that government welfare programs spend a lot of money but do not have a good track record of actually helping people….(because)…In other words, we would cripple our whole state budget for only about four percent of the state’s population!”


  5. Norma Duffy

    Like I said before Ravalli County is broke, and it is broke because of GOP shennigans. When people need healthcare in that county, they are supposed to be protected by their elected officials not treated like dirt.

    Pat Tucker continually has been voting against his constituents until it finally bit him in the Bum. Now next election he and these others might find out how blue the voters might turn to protect their own interests…. maybe Ravalli county is finally waking up?

  6. Norma Duffy

    Kotaku an online game site, reports that a Tea Party group in Florida posted a picture from the game Bioshock Infinite on their Facebook page.

    For those who aren’t familiar with it, Bioshock Infinite is a game that takes place in a 1912 in a flying city by the name of Columbia. It’s run by a man who is a cross between Bryan Fischer and Pat Buchanan. The place is a racist, sexist theocracy. When I played the game it seriously creeped me out on how well they got the right wing politics of the antagonists in the game you fought against. You even had to fight against the Vox anarchists who killed and destroyed everything in their site, who were fighting the right wing. Basically you were up against everything and everybody who hates real democracy, and you fight it all while trying to save a damsel in distress.

    So these Tea Partiers took an image from what is essentially a condemnation of their stance and posted it as a serious display of their beliefs.

    These Teabaggers are really stupid people.

    Read more at: http://kotaku.com/tea-party-facebook-group-posts-bioshock-image-satirizin-1483821325

  7. in2it

    I think on a much broader level we can rightly hold both parties accountable, Democrats in the pay of the insurance cartel and Republicans under the spell of Rand. If I could intuit that a right-wing Supreme Court would preserve the private mandate and jettison the Medicaid expansion, so could most of Washington. Why the long faces?

    The question now is what to do about it. I don’t hear any brave Democrats with fixits in the work – just finger pointing. Supporters of ACA have said that it will eventually break down barriers to single payer (Medicare for All) or even government-run health care (the VA model, quite successful). That can only be true if ACA results in utter failure. Otherwise we are permanently indentured servants of AHIP, courtesy the cartel in its employees, Obama and Baucus and the others, and the problem of lack of access to health care, which ACA only partially remedied anyway, is still with us.

    1. Craig Moore

      Speaking of the cartel and its employees, did you see where Brian Schweitzer is calling Obama a corporatist? http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/193210-schweitzer-2016-run-something-im-interested-in

      Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) has labeled President Obama a “corporatist.”

      In an interview, Schweitzer criticized Obama for moving to the right as president, saying that for much of the last five years, he had been a corporatist.

      He also warned that Hillary Clinton could do the same thing if she becomes president.

      “The question that we have is, will it be the Hillary that leads the progressives? Or is it the Hillary that says, ‘I’m already going to win the Democratic nomination, and so I can shift hard right on Day 1,’ ” Schweitzer said in an interview with The Weekly Standard.

      “We can’t afford any more hard right. We had eight years of George Bush. Now we’ve had five years of Obama, [who], I would argue, in many cases has been a corporatist,” the former governor said.

      1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Schweitzer is the only one who will point out the TRVTH and let the chips fall where they may. He’s right of course. He’s really no Dem, but rather a true independent. His loyalty is to neither party, but rather to good governance. What a novel approach!

        1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          OUCH! Right in the ol’ hickory nuts! Da guv did NOT mince words when referring to Max Fawkuscare! He let ol’ Mini Fawkus have it right in the ol’ hickory nuts!


          Show me another politician in ALL of America who is as plain spoken as Schweitzer. I challenge you to find one. THAT is why he will be our next prez! Look OUT, corpos! We’re comin’!

          1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

            (I think he was captured at a young age and educated by the Jesuits, for he shows as much promise of Pope Francis of NotASissy! And I’m luvin’ it!)

        1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          Seems like a pretty convoluted strategy to me. Not sure what the hell they’re trying to do. Split hairs I guess. I’m not sure that your average inbred out there will understand this ploy. Maybe, maybe not. But hell, I waded through the entire thing and couldn’t really understand just what the Pubes are saying for sure, and I LIKE to think of myself as a leetle smarter than your average inbred! Maybe not I guess.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      And they’re reeJOICIN’ down in the Bitterroot! freddy thomasses’s people can now come outta the closet!……all except the child brides!


      Hmmm. Wonder how many of them there actually ARE down there in Freddy Land? I knew teachers who went down there to teach, and they couldn’t quite figure things OUT at parent teacher nights! Seems that things was a leetle strange tryin’ to figure out what kids belonged to whom!! SISTER WIVES for evey one!


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