New Washington Health Care Bill, Same Silence from Daines and Gianforte
Helena – Here we go again. The Senate Majority is attempting a last-ditch effort to destabilize America’s current health care system, and Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte still won't tell Montanans if they support the plan. This bill would:
- “Radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid,” threatening coverage for more than 70,000 Montanans;
- Eliminate tax-credits that help more than 40,000 Montanans afford health insurance;
- Jeopardize protections for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing insurers to charge sick people higher premiums for the same coverage;
- Make it harder for women to get insurance coverage for abortion and easier for states to eliminate requirements mandating insurance companies cover maternity care. It's described as the “worst [bill] yet for women’s health,” and would prohibit the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for care at Planned Parenthood clinics, meaning low-income women could no longer access their services;
- Allow insurers to institute an estimated $20,450 surcharge for people addicted to opioids.
Unfortunately, we don’t know the full extent of the damage that this bill would cause because it hasn’t been scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and a full analysis will not be available before the Senate holds its vote.
However, the preliminary numbers are so bad that the proposal has already been opposed by the AARP, the American Medical Association, the Children’s Hospital Association, andsixteen patient and provider groups including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the American Diabetes Association.
Unsurprisingly, Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte are sticking to their respective health care playbooks, refusing to tell Montanans what they think about the latest bill.
Steve Daines is once again saying he is still working through what the bill will mean for Montana. Last time it took him 26 days to decide he supported forcing tens of thousands of Montanans to pay more for less health care coverage.
Greg Gianforte is once again saying, well, nothing. Currently on a statewide tour, he has yet to indicate whether he would support this bill, or any of the previous health care proposals for that matter.
“The Graham-Cassidy health care plan would devastate Montana families. It would force Montanans to pay more for less coverage, jeopardize coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions, and gut women’s access to affordable health care” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.“Montanans know the game Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte are playing, and their silence speaks louder than words.”