Of Course Steve Daines Wants to Cancel August Recess

If you weren’t paying attention much to the news over this nice, beautiful, long 4th of July weekend you might have missed the latest act of cowardice by Montana’s junior Senator.

Running one of the oldest political plays in the book Daines tried to disguise his cowardice as statesmanship.

Daines called for Congress to cancel its August recess.

While this seems like run-of-the-mill political posturing the context is very important.

The Senate is considering a health care plan that will impact thousands of Montanans.   This bill was crafted in secret and Daines has been wishy-washy on if he was part of the process or not.

One thing we know for sure though: Steve Daines is afraid to face his constituents right now.

For nearly six years Daines and the MT GOP have screamed “repeal and replace” but haven’t answered the follow-up of “replace with what?”

And now that the GOP has revealed their master plan and it will leave thousands of Montanans and millions of Americans without coverage, Daines is nowhere to be found.

Since January when President Trump was sworn in, Daines has held ZERO town hall meetings in Montana.

Nada. Zippo. Zilch. A goose egg. Steve Daines has shutout the people he was elected to serve.

As our Senator, Daines has been phoning it in for a while now, literally. He’s abandoned the eye-to-eye meeting in favor of “tele town halls.” Daines hosts these events, pre-screens the questions, and I can only assume reads from talking points drafted by Mitch McConnell.

So it is not a surprise to see that  is advocating for the cancellation of the August recess. Daines doesn’t want to be in Montana because he might accidentally run into some Montanans.

He’d rather spend the month of August in his DC office, away from his constituents.

The thing is, we’re really not asking that much. All we want is an audience with one of the people we send to Washington to advocate for our interests.

It’s not difficult for special interests and deep-pocketed donors to jet off to DC and look Daines in the eye and ask him to support this big tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of the poorest of the poors’ health care.

But for the wheelchair bound 35-year-old on Medicaid, working two jobs, and able to afford to see a doctor for the first time in their life, they might not be able to make it to the fancy fundraisers or lobbyist soirées .

Daines doesn’t need to commission a modern day Lewis and Clark to come and find out what Montana thinks about the Senate’s health care bill. He needs to come and visit with his constituents.

I think August is a perfect time for that.

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49 Comments on "Of Course Steve Daines Wants to Cancel August Recess"

  1. Sorry for the news, friends, but Elvis is dead.

    2017 Montana individual market health-insurance rates filed; average increase up to 58%

    I guess we should have read ACA before it got passed.

    HELENA –
    State officials Wednesday released the final 2017 rates for health insurance on Montana’s individual market, with average increases ranging from 27 percent to 58 percent
    http://www.ktvq.com/story/33096369/2017-individual-market-health-insurance-rates-filed-average-increase-up-to-58

    More info

    1. Arizona
    •Average 2017 premium: $422
    •Average 2016 premium: $196
    •Percent increase: 116%
    •Average tax credit per month: $280

    2. Oklahoma
    •Average 2017 premium: $424
    •Average 2016 premium: $251
    •Percent increase: 69%
    •Average tax credit per month: $282

    3. Tennessee
    •Average 2017 premium: $385
    •Average 2016 premium: $236
    •Percent increase: 63%
    •Average tax credit per month: $243

    4. Minnesota
    •Average 2017 premium: $340
    •Average 2016 premium: $214
    •Percent increase: 59%
    •Average tax credit per month: $198

    5. Alabama
    •Average 2017 premium: $384
    •Average 2016 premium: $244
    •Percent increase: 58%
    •Average tax credit per month: $242

    6. Pennsylvania
    •Average 2017 premium: $327
    •Average 2016 premium: $213
    •Percent increase: 53%
    •Average tax credit per month: $185

    7. Nebraska
    •Average 2017 premium: $411
    •Average 2016 premium: $272
    •Percent increase: 51%
    •Average tax credit per month: $296

    8. Montana
    •Average 2017 premium: $381
    •Average 2016 premium: $264
    •Percent increase: 44%
    •Average tax credit per month: $239

    9. Illinois
    •Average 2017 premium: $298
    •Average 2016 premium: $208
    •Percent increase: 43%
    •Average tax credit per month: $156

    10. Kansas
    •Average 2017 premium: $308
    •Average 2016 premium: $217
    •Percent increase: 42%
    •Average tax credit per month: $166

    • Cool stats friend. But numbers presented without context are not very informative and some may even say misleading. Some might say that, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t like to attribute motive to your misinformation campaign, just assume it’s a lack of the facts.

      Here are two helpful articles that can help point you in the right direction of who’s to blame for these larger than normal increases. (Hint: it’s not the ACA)

      http://mtpr.org/post/blue-cross-vp-we-need-regulatory-stability

      http://mtpr.org/post/insurance-exec-worried-about-huge-disruptions-new-health-bill

      And here’s another one for good measure:
      http://mtpr.org/post/lot-people-are-going-get-hurt-insurance-ceo-says-republican-health-plan

      Hope you read them. Have a nice night! Happy reading!

      • Thanks, Good read. One last chance for the insurance exec’s to plunder the American people and get that estate on the beach and donate to the Democratic Party, Geez …..Wake up. Also, how does Maxine Waters afford a 4.3 Million Dollar mansion?

        • @bullet – Yeah, how could a black woman have acquired enough money to live well. She must be really good at defrauding the welfare system. Better check to see if she’s claiming 187 children.

          Sheeze!!

          • Who said anything about her race?

          • Naw, but this helps. Only color involved here is green. I wonder how many mailers actually got sent out.

            Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters is paying her daughter, Karen Waters ANOTHER $108,000 from campaign funds to send out 200,000 mailers. Karen Waters has collected approximately $650,000 to date for ‘running’ her mother’s mailer campaign.

        • This line of logic doesn’t make sense Bullet – you use misleading price figures that distort both ACA and the real prices that people pay, ignore the fact that before ACA prices were going up at twice the rate they have been since (and those prices doubled every 9-10 years) and then you seem to suggest sweetheart deals in ACA…

          If those deals are labeled “sweetheart” in ACA, then shouldn’t you be outraged out the ‘rub and tug’ the insurance industry is getting from the TrumpScare options in the house and senate bills? Each is nothing more than fat tax cuts for them and the richest Americans paid for by screwing the rest of us. It’s like comparing the crap that comes out of a lap dog and a great dane. Sure – it’s there crap in both piles, but one’s making a much bigger pile.

          ACA gave some things away to big business…mainly scraping a pure national public option versus state versions, but it lost battles over preexisting conditions, cap limits, lower costs for seniors (3x), etc. And then there are the House and Senate TrumpScare plans – which give everything away to big business in the insurance agency, raised prices esp. on seniors, a penalty charge if you lapse over 63 days, pre existing conditions may return, caps and many more. They even gave the insurance agencies a true happy ending when they added a provision to allow companies like BCBS MT to deduct their executive salaries from their taxes…frankly that’s more than a rub and tug and the happiest of endings, that’s the full Trump in Russia with Putin’s lady of the yellow evening treatment

          There’s this sorta duplicitous backlash that congressional democrats shouldn’t have used the means they needed to use to pass contentious yet monumental legislation that the republican right was trying to obstruct as much then as today with lies like DEATH PANELS!!! & TRACKING CHIPS!!…while the republican congress is doing all of that and every bit more by secret committees, backroom deals, rules changes and in the blink of an eye versus ACA’s year and many bipartisan meetings, committee work and markups. And the final straw becomes the point when one bill, ACA, actually helps people and ADDED 24-30 million people to the ranks of the insured, while the other machinations are being done to support a bill that does NOTHING but cut 33 BILLION in taxes for the nation’s 400 richest families for 10 years by kicking 22-23 million Americans out of the ranks of the insured and cost real people huge amounts of money, stress and pain.

          it’s like night and day – but all you want to troll about is ACA, right Bullet?

    • bullet informs us that Elvis is dead. He or she then implies that the ACA should have been read before passage and continues to cite rate increases nationwide. Of course there are increases nationwide. These increases are directly attributable to the Republicans. When the ACA was enacted, a ‘Risk Corridor’ program was set up in the first three years to help insurance companies with too many new sick people on their rolls and not enough cash from premiums to cover medical bills under the new health law. The Republicans added a “rider” to a massive, 1600 page, spending bill in December 2014 to undermine this key financing mechanism in the ACA. The “rider” limited how much could be spent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect insurance companies from financial losses. The result was a quiet legislative sabotage of the ACA. Because of Republican efforts, the government would pay only 13 percent of what insurance companies were relying upon to cope with the risks they assumed by agreeing to participate in the insurance marketplaces. The result is the increase in premiums the Republicans claim for the alleged failure of the ACA.
      By by October 2015 the co-op Health Republic of Oregon said it would close its doors after learning that it would receive only $995,000 of the $7.9 million it had relied upon from the government. Twelve of the 23 ACA nonprofit insurance cooperatives failed because of Republican led federal abandonment.
      The Congressional Budget Office says that the Republicans’ repeal and replace law (actually only a tax reduction law for the wealthiest Americans), now being considered, will result in an increase of 20+ million Americans without health coverage coupled with huge increases in rates for older Americans. It will also return us to the days of caps and preexisting conditions. Thank you Republicans for your patriotic concern.

      • Hanson, you are somewhat correct. The risk corridors were intended to help some insurance companies if they ended up with too many new sick people on their rolls and too little cash from premiums to cover their medical bills in the first three years under the health law. But because of Mr. Rubio’s efforts, the administration says it will pay only 13 percent of what insurance companies were expecting to receive this year. The payments were supposed to help insurers cope with the risks they assumed when they decided to participate in the law’s new insurance marketplaces. 2.5 Billion shortfall for 2015 and with more and more leaving ACA because of ridicules and increasing deductibles and costs this is why they use the words, “Death Spiral.”

  2. Shortly after Obama took office, he made a promise to reform American health care, and he didn’t back down. H.R. 3962 was presented to the House of Representatives in July of 2009, and wasn’t signed into law until March 23, 2010, after months of revisions, amendments, and debates about the bill. And after it was passed, it still wasn’t safe. In fact, according to TIME, “the House voted to repeal or amend the Affordable Care Act more then 50 times since it was passed in October 2009.”

    • @bullet – You stated, “…after months of revisions, amendments, and debates about the bill[ACA].”

      So, with the House and Senate GOP versions of Trumpcare, where are those “months of revisions, amendments, and debates about the bill”???

      Looking at the alleged AVERAGE rates you listed, it looked to me like most or all of any premium increases were offset by the tax credit assistance that was built into the ACA to begin with.

      You remarked, rather snidely, “I guess we should have read ACA before it got passed.” Since it was available to read for months, I guess it was your own kneejerk rejection of ANYTHING proposed by President Obama that kept you from doing so. Or maybe you’re just like your so-called president, “Nobody knew it was this complicated.”

  3. Our junior Senator enjoys insulting our intelligence on a regular basis. For example, both Daines and Giantforte love to advance their legislative proposal to not allow members of Congress to get paid unless they submit a balanced budget. It is true that Congress controls the budget, not the prez. However, have you ever heard or read of a blueprint of his balanced budget? What would be cut? What about revenues. Funny, but all I ever hear coming from Daines is his desire to implement HUGE tax cuts for the super wealthy, yet build Trump’s wall, increase spending on the military, etc. etc. Show me the money Steve. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t pour 3 gallons into a quart jar. Either put up or shut up. Show us a budget that would be balanced. The reason he refuses to do that is because he knows it is not possible unless tax revenues are increased. Even Reagan understood that. Most of our spending in now mandated anyway, and could not realistically be cut. So yes, Daines is the worst political coward possible. He throws out crap that insults our intelligence and yet refuses to meet his own constituents. And yes, his so-called “tele- town halls” are indeed rigged.

    • Developing a balanced budget is easy. Just make the necessary assumptions about growth and revenue projections and you can have a balanced budget. Which is not even worth the paper that it is written on. It has no force of law behind it, as it is a planning document.

      Now if Daines really understood how the Federal Government works, he would be saying that the appropriations have to meet what is in the planning document. Appropriations have the force of law as they indicate how the Feds will spend monies. Once signed into law, there can be almost no variation in the spending. The President has to spend the money whehter he desires to or not. Just ask Nixon what happened when he chose not to spend appropriated money on the EPA<

  4. Those aren’t the right rates. I am an insurance producer selling on the exchange and we don’t have the rates for 2018 – these rates for 2017 and we as producer’s don’t even have the rates yet so there is no way the news media has the rates. For another thing we haven’t had our training’s yet and won’t know the rates until August. Get the facts straight before you publish things you know zip about.

    • Don’t expect the Cowgirl to let the facts get in the way of a good liberal lathering. These blogs are where fake news is born.

      • Gee Blaze…that’s the point, somebody posted the wrong numbers on your side as a fake news attack against ACA. And you obviously didn’t read well enough to comprehend that…why doesn’t that surprise us?

        • Well whatever. All I know is I voted for free healthcare in ’08 & ’12, quit my full time job so I could pursue water painting and got nothing in return. Now I pay for a junk catastrophic policy just so I don’t get penalized. You don’t expect me to go out and get a full time job at my age, do you?

          • Fuck you asshole. Now that the BDC has disabled commenting you come to this site to post under my names from that site? You are mentally ill. Just like your savior Donald Trump. Fuck off and die.

          • @The [so-called] Blaze – I have some bad news for you. It’s not your age holding you back from employment. Not even your mental and emotional age which would be that of a brain-damaged 3rd grader. It’s your gullible swallowing of the alt-right garbage that you try to regurgitate here.

  5. Daines is a coward, pure and simple.

  6. Hehehe, a real Montana coward!

    • Speaking of, whatever happened to the herpes ridden Montucky cowpoke/singer/songwriter/half witted/half educated/aspiring politician? Is he playing the Eagles this weekend?

  7. Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

    While premiums are soaring, choices are plummeting. A third of American counties, including five whole states, only have one choice of Obamacare coverage – no choice at all. And insurers continue to abandon Obamacare. Virtually every day there’s news of another major insurance company leaving the Obamacare exchange in another state around the country.

    Stories like Christine Chalkey and her son Jacob, who has a very rare condition and receives treatment through Medicaid in Illinois. The state’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare means that the people who need care the most – like Jacob – have seen shrinking services. Christine called Obamacare’s impact “an injustice happening to the truly most vulnerable.”

    David Moody, from Nevada, is a retired police officer who couldn’t afford an expensive Obamacare plan for both him and his wife, so he went uninsured so his wife could have the care she needs. He shared simply, “I have no healthcare because I just can’t afford it.”

    And Amy and Robert Dean, foster parents from Texas with six children, have been forced to change doctors every year under Obamacare – a hardship especially for their child with a chronic liver disease. At the White House today, Robert urged “America can and should do better. Our Congress needs to listen to these people and how it’s real Americans that this is affecting.

    • If you’re fortunate enough to have insurance as a job benefit, guess how many choices you have.

      • I did ACA my first year and they dumped the top plan and then increased deductibles and premiums so I went back to a company plan. I also know a another Montana couple that have a house in another country and they sign up for that other country plan. So we are more people not putting into the pool. Now many young working couples were taking the tax hit verses ridicules deductibles and premiums. Thus, the collapse of ACA. Move to California or Nevada if you want a Single Payer Health System. Oops, they have abandoned this legislation. No cost controls. California said that would increase the income tax be 15%. Their state tax for a person making $55K would be 23% for the first year and who know for the next year. Try living in California on 55K.

        Yes, tax the rich. Who provides jobs, not the poor. Worked well for New Jersey. Check and see how many moved. Also, more incentive or off shore accounts. Panama banks love it.

        • Sounds like you’re trying to get champagne coverage while paying beer premiums.

          • Nope, just that my wallet is not going to be used to buy votes for the Democrats. Not my first rodeo here. How about a property tax rebate for a vote for a Governor?

            • So your position on healthcare is strictly driven by partisan considerations rather than by more humanitarian ones? That’s some fine critical thinking right there.

              According to legend, that dirty fcking hippie socialist, Jayzus, gave free health care to anyone who asked.

  8. I hope all didn’t have much damage from the quake. My best wishes to all..

  9. Trumps bows to Putin.

  10. “Donald Trump’s a man who craves power because it burnishes his celebrity. To be constantly talking and talked about is all that really matters.

    And there is no value placed on the meaning of words. So what is said one day can be discarded the next.

    So what did we learn?

    We’ve learned that Donald Trump has pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a Global Leader

    He managed to isolate his nation, to confuse and alienate his allies and to diminish America

    He will cede that power to China & Russia. Two Authoritarian States that will forge a very different set of rules for the 21st Century

    Some will cheer the decline of America, but I think we’ll miss it when it’s gone.

    And that’s the biggest threat to the values of the West which he claims to hold so dear.”

    https://twitter.com/AmarAmarasingam/status/883835812370153472

    Daines is a complicit stooge for Hair Furor’s incompetence.

  11. Daines is a coward and hypocrite. He claims to be a Christian but has no qualms about destroying health care here Montana! If Trumpcare is approved say goodbye to your rural health clinics, hospitals, and thousands of jobs in health care. Daines excuse is premiums are to high. That is true! But they are high because Republicans refused to ever work with Democrats to improve the ACA. The GOP has been quite content to let premiums rise, but take NO RESPONSIBILITY for letting it happen. So if you are worried about losing health care, remember Steve Daines and the GOP could care less, as long as their Rich campaign donors keep the kitty full. Of course all the Representatives and Senators in DC would receive a big tax cut too!

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