State of Montana Archives: on Health Care

Steve Bullock: Worked with legislature to expand Medicaid

In 2015, Steve brought Republicans and Democrats together again to provide affordable health care coverage for up to 70,000 working Montanans through Medicaid expansion, becoming the only governor in 2015 to work with a legislature to expand Medicaid.

OnTheIssues Note: "Medicaid expansion" is a major aspect of ObamaCare implementation at the state level. As of 2016, sixteen states rejected Medicaid expansion; of those, 15 have Republican governors.

Source: 2016 Montana gubernatorial campaign website Mar 21, 2016

Greg Gianforte: Provide for those who cannot provide for themselves

Healthcare costs are rising sharply and account for 40% of our state budget. We must provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, but work for increased price transparency and consumer incentives to make healthcare affordable for our hardworking families.
Source: 2016 Montana governor's campaign website Feb 3, 2016

Brad Johnson: Opposes Medicaid expansion

Johnson called himself a "proven vote-getter" with strong conservative positions, such as opposition to abortion, support of gun rights, support of "school choice" and opposition to expanded government, such as Medicaid coverage for poor people.
Source: on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Sep 23, 2015

Steve Bullock: Insure the working poor with federal dollars

The 70,000 Montanans who are hiding in plain view are the working poor. That's why Representative Noonan and I are proposing a uniquely Montana plan--based upon the popular Healthy Montana Kids Plan--that will extend coverage to tens of thousands of Montanans. The Healthy Montana Plan will bring our federal dollars back to Montana, to cover those without insurance. We will negotiate with a private carrier to drive down rates and reform the way that Medicaid is delivered in this state.

HB 249 Legislative Summary: A bill for an act entitled: "an act creating the Healthy Montana Act to expand health care coverage to additional individuals and improve access to health care services; establishing a health care coverage program to provide certain low-income Montanans with access to health care services using Medicaid funds and an arrangement with a third-party administrator; providing support for health care delivery across Montana; and establishing a special revenue account.

Source: State of the State on 2015 Montana voting records: HB 249 Jan 28, 2015

Ryan Zinke: ObamaCare is reckless; replace with cross-state pools& HSAs

ObamaCare as written is reckless and will lead to higher costs with less medical care. We can do better, particularly for the aging population in Montana, who are on fixed incomes and are certain to face higher premiums and no coverage at all for many conditions. Health care must be affordable but not free, innovative by design, and be focused on giving the medical professionals the freedom and latitude to provide quality care rather than having Washington telling us how to be a doctor, nurse, or provider. Innovative solutions such as expanding health care pools, allowing those pools to form across state lines, promoting Health Savings Accounts and passing meaningful tort reform will go a long way to lowering health care costs.
Source: 2014 Montana House campaign website, Nov 4, 2014

Amanda Curtis: ObamaCare: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Curtis has supported a state expansion of Medicaid--something Republicans who control the Montana Legislature have blocked--and says now there are good things and bad things about the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. "I'm not a person who will throw the baby out with the bathwater," Curtis said.
Source: Billings Gazette on 2014 Montana Senate race Aug 16, 2014

Sam Rankin: Tort reform plus higher deductibles & co-pays

Source: 2014 Montana Senate campaign website, Jul 27, 2014

Champ Edmunds: Repeal ObamaCare; it's not a government responsibility

Question topic: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income.

Edmunds: Strongly Disagree

Question topic: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress.

Edmunds: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Montana Senate race Jul 2, 2014

John Walsh: Yes to Medicare Rx negotiations; no to privatization

While Walsh spent part of his speech blasting Daines, he also spelled out some of his own positions, saying he supports increasing the minimum wage, cutting waste in the defense budget, and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

Walsh leveled his strongest attack yet against his likely challenger, Republican Steve Daines, calling Daines the purveyor of a "cruel ideology" that "only seeks to preserve privilege."

Walsh slammed Daines for votes to "privatize Medicare," cut tax rates for the wealthy, shut down the federal government last October and cut food stamps. He pointed to Daines' 2013 vote for the proposed House Republican budget, which would have converted Medicare to a system of subsidies to help the elderly buy private insurance or traditional Medicare, as well as reduced tax rates for the wealthy and most taxpayers.

Source: Ravalli Republic on 2014 Montana Senate race Mar 9, 2014

John Bohlinger: Strong advocate of a single-payer system like Medicare

I asked Bohlinger how he'd talk to Montana voters about the Affordable Care Act.

"We know that the Affordable Care Act has met with a great deal of resistance in Montana," he said, carefully. "People are disappointed that it hasn't been able to deliver what was promised. We know that--oh, gosh, more than 30,000 Montanans have had their insurance policies canceled."

"It's 38,000 now," interjected Bohlinger's strategist.

"And the new insurance is more expensive than the old insurance," said the candidate. "It hasn't worked. We're strong advocates of a single-payer system. Medicare works for me." Bohlinger went on, talking about how Montana had invested in hospitals for state employees, and how one of them had outfitted him with a titanium hip. "My out-of-pocket cost was $300."

Source: David Weigel on on 2014 Montana Senate race Dec 13, 2013

John Bohlinger: Expand Medicaid to cover 70,000 low-income Montanans

John Bohlinger stepped into the health-care fray Wednesday, saying Gov. Steve Bullock should call a special session of the Legislature to expand Medicaid to cover 70,000 low-income Montanans without health insurance. "I think this is a crisis and this is something that has to be dealt with," Bohlinger told reporters. "I say let's bring the legislative assembly together to deal with the problem now."

Yet the Democratic governor expressed no enthusiasm for the idea. Bullock, who proposed expanding Medicaid this year, has said that he sees no point in calling a special session, because the Republican majority in the Legislature is likely to reject it again.

Bohlinger said the issue of Medicaid expansion is too important to wait until 2015. Thousands of low-income Montanans are unable to get health-care coverage that will be required next year, either because they've had difficult using the new online ObamaCare marketplace or because they're too poor to get any assistance, he said.

Source: Ravalli Republic on 2014 Montana Senate race Nov 20, 2013

Steve Bullock: Access Health Montana: increase coverage and access

To have a healthy economy, we need healthy citizens. For those of us with health insurance, we're paying too much and getting too little. And for the tens of thousands of Montanans who don't have insurance, the Emergency Room has become a primary care facility, pushing costs for all of us even higher. The fact is, subsidizing expensive ER care for the uninsured costs Montanans $300 million a year. That makes no sense when there is a smarter, cheaper way to provide better care.

Through Access Health Montana, we are proposing a made-in-Montana solution designed to increase coverage and access to health care for more Montana families. It will also create a patient-centered delivery system that focuses on coordinating care and improving health, rather than simply treating illness. Implementing these measures will allow us to better control and ultimately lower the costs of health care--slowing the annual rate hikes that hit all of our wallets.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to Montana legislature Jan 30, 2013

Jon Tester: Protect people with pre-existing medical conditions

Tester defended the Affordable Care Act at times, citing provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and protect sick people from having their insurance policies terminated. There are parts of the health care bill "that will help" working families and small businesses, he said. "To listen to the Congressman talk, you would think that the old system was just grand. It wasn't grand," Tester said.
Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates Oct 14, 2012

Bill McChesney: Mandated insurance ok; tort reform not

Q: Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?

A: Yes.

Q: Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?

A: Yes.

A: No.. I'm not as supportive of limits on monetary awards as I am of insuring that there are monetary penalties for frivolous and/or fraudulent lawsuits.

Source: Montana State Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Michael Lange: No nationalized health care system

Source: Montana Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Ryan Zinke: Caps on medical malpractice; no government health insurance

Source: Montana Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Jon Tester: Families canít afford to get sick; thatís not health care

You need somebody back in Washington DC whoíll address the health care problems in this country. Right now, when families canít afford to get sick, thatís not health care. Weíre 19th in the world; we didnít used to be that way. You want to talk about medical research? Weíre in the process of under-funding the National Institute of Health, so our medical research is going to start heading to the Pacific Rim, under this current administrationís watch. Thatís not the right direction.
Source: 2006 Montana 3-way Senate Debate at MSU Oct 9, 2006

Judy Martz: Insured 10,000 kids under CHIPs; aim for 20,000

Thanks to the Childrenís Health Insurance Program, 10,000 formerly uninsured youngsters have good health insurance coverage. Thatís progress in my book. We eliminated the small enrollment fee and have simplified the application process. We have come half way in our goal to insure a total of 20,000 children. Iím going to continue to bring more Montanans under the umbrella of affordable health insurance. Weíll qualify families for CHIP at incomes up to 160% of poverty.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Montana Legislature Jan 25, 2001

Corey Stapleton: Government not responsible for medical care

Source: 2000 Montana State National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

John Bohlinger: Ensure healthcare for uninsured children

Source: Montana Legislative 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Montana Politicians: Archives.
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