Where do Montana’s Elected Officials Stand on the Senate Health Care Bill?


As the United States Senate continues to consider a health care proposal that would take away coverage from thousands of Montanans, bring back the ability for insurers to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and create a situation insurers call “unworkable,” Montanans are wondering: Where do our elected officials stand?

Governor Steve Bullock has joined a bipartisan group of governors denouncing this piece of legislation.  Kudos to him and the Republican governors who can put their constituents before Party.

Senator Jon Tester has announced his staunch opposition to this bill.  And has called for bipartisan cooperation to address problems with the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Steve Daines tells Montana he is reviewing the bill.  Let’s accept this at face value for a moment.  It’s been almost a week, for a piece of legislation that will impact nearly every family in Montana I think I might put that at the top of my to-do list.  I may even hold a town hall or two to find out what folks think about this.  Instead, Daines tells us he can’t make a decision.  But just today, Senator Daines was caught with his pants down and his position laid bare for all to see:

Well, this is awkward…….

So while he tells his constituents and the media that he is still making up his mind, he is dining with the President to talk about how to bring his colleagues over to their side.

At least be upfront and honest with your plans Senator.  Don’t only let DC know how you feel, tell your constituents.

Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale has been noticeably silent on this proposal.  Almost as if he’s calculating the political winds, hoping and praying he doesn’t have to take a public position before this thing is either the law of the land or in the trash pile.  I am a little disturbed that the state’s top health care policy maker it might be time for him to let us know where he stands.

Congressman Greg Gianforte is also noticeably mum on the issue.  Although, he might be busy because he’s busy fighting to avoid his mugshot and fingerprints taken.  Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

These folks certainly take a long time to decide how they feel about legislation that they’ve been using as a campaign slogan.  Here’s your shot.  Take the leap.  Have the courage to stand by your campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and kick thousands of Montanans off of their coverage.

We don’t know yet when the Senate will vote on this bill.  We know that it will move quickly through the house.  We know where some of Montana’s elected officials stand. And it seems like we now know where Senator Daines stands.  The White House spilled the beans.

It’s time he let the folks in Montana know as well.  I don’t blame him, I get it.  I don’t begrudge the man for putting Party before Montana.  I just don’t think I’ll vote to re-elect him.


23 Comments on "Where do Montana’s Elected Officials Stand on the Senate Health Care Bill?"

  1. Long live the Affordable Care Act. President Obama is proven to be better at the art of the deal.

  2. I have no doubt Daines will not hesitate one second to vote for Trumpcare; destroy rural health care in MT, close small town clinics and hospitals, destroy THOUSANDS of jobs in health care, and yank medical, dental, and vision care from thousands of the poor, working poor, seniors, and children. Trumpcare will also make health insurance UNAFFORDABLE for thousands of middle class Montanans by doing nothing about expensive premiums! Meanwhile Daines, Gianforte and the filthy rich will be counting their big tax breaks while people die! Just what type of Christians do churches turn out these days? Pretty obvious they worship money and power, not the teachings of Jesus Christ!

  3. John Ross Bradley | July 17, 2017 10:26 PM at 10:26 PM |

    Steve Daines,

    Where does Montana get these guys.

    Same place British colonies got the Raj?

  4. With the loss of a total of four Republican Senators, it looks like Republican Leader McConnell will have to re-think his plans. I bet everybody who had to re-organize their August recess to stay in Wahington DC to vote on this is super pleased (have you been in Washington, D.C. in August? The place used to be a literal swamp!).

    Now Senator Daines has an opportunity to demonstrate some leadership and represent the people of Montana on this. Will he? In any case, this is an election issue–however this Healthcare mess turns out, Senator Daines, as a lock-step Republican, gets to slide all the way down the razor blade. Do not let anyone forget how he responds now that he has more breathing room.

  5. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Daines will vote to repeal, and replace two years later. It is a well-known fact that he and Gianforte, representing the rich fat cat wing of the Republican party that cynically exploits the morons who form their base, are in favor of eliminating all forms of government health care, including the VA and Medicaid.

    • I agree that the Republican party consistently exploits the not so bright people who form their base and vote them into office time after time. It’s sadly humorous when these same people are befuddled when they discover that their subsidies are hacked away in favor of giving the rich tax breaks. None of this would be so offensive if all of our legislators gave up their taxpayer funded health care and used the same health care system they impose upon everyone else. My pet peeve are the legislators who complain vociferously about entitlements for the aged and the poor. These sociopaths conveniently forget that the perks and benefits they get (for the rest of their lives) are BIG TIME taxpayer funded entitlements.

  6. Where is the free healthcare I voted for? I’m 60 years old and deserve it already!

    • Guess you voted for the wrong candidate you moron.

    • who is that promised you free healthcare Art? I must have missed that on the ballot if it was a stand-alone proposition. Or were you referring to single-payer? Or Medicare E (for everybody’s coverage begins with conception)? Either of these options fail your “free” qualification since both are paid for by a lifetime of taxation. The difference between the Democrats plan and the Republican Robber Barons’ plan is the Dems’ works to give us a healthier population while the Republicans’ plan works to give 400 gazillionaires a healthier bank account. If you voted for Democrats you would have your Medicare by now but as it is you’ll have to wait another 5 years-unless they manage to kill Medicare to finance those tax breaks like the BACA calls for.

      • I voted for Obama. Twice. And Billary in 2016. AND I quit my full time job so I could pursue the art of the skin-flute based on the hope and change that I was going to get free healthcare. What’d I get- expensive catastrophic coverage and higher taxes.

  7. FYI; Wikipedia Single Payer Health Care.

    State proposals[edit]

    Several single-payer state referendums and bills from state legislatures have been proposed, but, with the exception of Vermont,[62] all have failed. In December 2014, Vermont canceled its plan for single-payer health care.[63]


    California attempted passage of a single-payer bill as early as 1994,[64] and the first successful passages of legislation through the California State Legislature, SB 840 or “The California Universal Healthcare Act” (authored by Sheila Kuehl), occurred in 2006 and again in 2008.[65] Both times, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.[66] State Senator Mark Leno has reintroduced the bill in each legislative session since.[67] In June 2017 the California State Senate passed a single-payer bill initiated by State Senator Ricardo Lara.[68]


    Main article: ColoradoCare

    The Colorado State Health Care System Initiative, Amendment 69, was a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment proposal in November 2016 to vote on a single-payer healthcare system funded by a 10% payroll tax split 2:1 between employers and employees. This would have replaced the private health insurance premiums currently paid by employees and companies.[69] The ballot was rejected by 79% of the electorate.[70]


    In 2009, the Hawaii state legislature passed a single-payer healthcare bill that was vetoed by Republican Governor Linda Lingle. While the veto was overridden by the legislature, the bill was not implemented.[71]


    In 2007, the Health Care for All Illinois Act was introduced and the Illinois House of Representatives’ Health Availability Access Committee passed the single-payer bill favorably out of committee by an 8–4 vote. The legislation was eventually referred back to the House rules committee and not taken up again during that session.[72]


    Massachusetts had passed a universal healthcare program in 1986, but budget constraints and partisan control of the legislature resulted in its repeal before the legislation could be enacted.[73] Question 4, a nonbinding referendum, was on the ballot in 14 state districts in November 2010, asking voters, “[S]hall the representative from this district be instructed to support legislation that would establish healthcare as a human right regardless of age, state of health or employment status, by creating a single payer health insurance system like Medicare that is comprehensive, cost effective, and publicly provided to all residents of Massachusetts?” The ballot question passed in all 14 districts that offered the question.[74][75]


    The Minnesota Health Act, which would establish a statewide single-payer health plan, has been presented to the Minnesota legislature regularly since 2009. The bill was passed out of both the Senate Health Housing and Family Security Committee[76] and the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee[77] in 2009, but the House version was ultimately tabled.[78] In 2010, the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a voice vote[79] as well as the House Health Care & Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee.[80] In 2011, the bill was introduced as a two-year bill in both the Senate[81] and House,[82] but did not progress. It has been introduced again in the 2013 session in both chambers.[83][84]


    In September 2011, Governor Brian Schweitzer announced his intention to seek a waiver from the federal government allowing Montana to set up a single-payer healthcare system.[85] Governor Schweitzer was unable to implement single-payer health care in Montana, but did make moves to open government-run clinics[86] and, in his final budget as governor, increased coverage for lower-income Montana residents.[87]

    New York[edit]

    New York State has been attempting passage of the New York Health Act, which would establish a statewide single-payer health plan, since 1992. The New York Health Act passed the Assembly four times: once in 1992 and again in 2015, 2016, and 2017, but has not yet advanced through the Senate after referrals to the Health Committee. On all occasions, the legislation passed the Assembly by an almost two-to-one ratio of support.[88][89][90]


    The state of Oregon attempted to pass single-payer healthcare via Oregon Ballot Measure 23 in 2002, and the measure was rejected by a significant majority.[91] Previous bills, including the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Act, have been introduced in the legislature but have never left committee.[citation needed]


    The Family Business and Healthcare Security Act has been introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature numerous times, but has never been able to pass.[92][93][94]


    Main article: Vermont health care reform

    In December 2014, Vermont canceled its plan for single-payer healthcare.[63] Vermont passed legislation in 2011 creating Green Mountain Care.[95] When Governor Peter Shumlin signed the bill into law, Vermont became the first state to functionally have a single-payer health care system.[96] While the bill is considered a single-payer bill, private insurers can continue to operate in the state indefinitely, meaning it does not fit the strict definition of single-payer. Representative Mark Larson, the initial sponsor of the bill, has described Green Mountain Care’s provisions “as close as we can get [to single-payer] at the state level.”[97][98]

    Vermont abandoned the plan in 2014, citing costs and tax increases as too high to implement.[99]

  8. I venture to guess that the last thing this website is about is cowgirls or anything to do with AG or livestock whatsoever. Is this site just for Liberal Californians who put on a cowboy hat for festivals in the park?? This site and all the commenters are about the opposite of what real Montana is and used to be. It is not the home of Starbucks patrons from LA, like all these commenters are. There is nothing Montana about any of this site or its hoakie commenters that definitely don’t fit into MONTANA.

    • Lemme see now, please define what a Montanan is please? I have been here for over 50+ years, married a fourth generation Montana woman from the western side of the State whose family came to Montana to work the mines as immigrants. In those 50+ plus years I have had the opportunity to meet many Montanans that share my political philosophy. They care deeply for the state and its beauty, and wish to protect it from the ravages that we have encountered through exploitation of its natural resources, leaving the mess for the residents to clean up. And, I have found that most of these fine people that live here do not drink Starbucks and are not the least bit hoakie.

      • Gallatin County is the fastest growing county in the state. The association of realtors reports over 50% of purchases were out-of-state buyers last year. They just opened a new Starbucks on W Main St, and it’s PACKED. Richard Miller FAIL.
        ( on a personal note- I’ve lived here for 15+ years and only know a handful of people from here. Like most, I’m here to prosper off the construction boom and couldn’t give a piss about the Gallatin Valley. I’m outta this dust pit come retirement. )

        • Back to Senator Daines for a bit.
          Maybe he wants to run again so been real careful to stay off stage, and do nothing that could be held against him in 2020 Primary.
          (And his base gladly ignores call for Town Hall meetings.)
          More importantly, could be that our Jr. Senator
          is ready, willing and quite able to assist with implementing the Trump agenda.
          Do check out emerging details of recent dinner of gang of 7 Senators where our President asked them to be his whips to change health care in the USA.

        • Blaze and I are buddies and meet regularly at the White Supremacist gatherings he has at his Trailer in Belgrade.

    • Fourth generation Montanan here, great grandparents were miners and homesteaders in the late 1800/early 1900s. While I don’t always agree with the more progressive commentors here (I support mining and oil & gas development), I sure the heck don’t support the Trump morons such as yourself who have no interest in fixing our problems, just would rather bash liberals.

    • Tell me, where was your immaculate birth that made YOU the arbiter of “real Montana” ? Unless you’re a member of one of our First Nation tribes you are an immigrant yourself. I personally know more native-born Montanans who love our wild places and detest the extractive industries that won’t clean up the messes they leave behind, Montanans who realize the long-term health and well-being of our state and it’s residents depends far more on our renewable resources than on our fossil fuels. Education and healthcare are two of the most valuable investments we can make as a State and as a People. Our nascent hemp industry which could well be the salvation for many small family farms is being blocked by GOP administration officials appointed by Trump. Again, if alternative energy and crops are such losers why the efforts to sabotage them? The fact is with the plummeting prices for PV panels and wind dynos a whole new source of income for those same farmers is available-but Republicans in multiple States and in federal agencies do everything in their power to prevent this development of non-fossil fuel resources. It really looks to me like the GOP is trying to partner up with Russia to dismantle the American Empire and surrender our status as world leaders in the drive for Justice and Freedom world-wide.

  9. Oh, BTW, will somebody please remind PeeWee that the ACA IS the Republican Healthcare Plan, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation, Medicare partE for everybody is the Democrats plan. If these morons would just fix the few things they screwed up on purpose they could claim “hey the Democrats gave us Obamacare that was failing but us geniuses in the GOP fixed it! YAAAY!” By election day 2018 voters will have forgotten it’s really still Obamacare if you just flood the airwaves with Trumpcare Rules! for months beforehand. Sheesh, you’re welcome Mr. Daines.

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