Daines health care answerWhile health care access for thousands of Montanans hangs in the balance, Senator Daines remains “uncommitted” on the Senate’s health care proposal and has publicly stated his willingness to repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it. These proposals would reduce access to coverage for many millions of Americans and dramatically hike costs across the board. Working families, children, seniors, people with disabilities – everyone who today or in the future will rely on Medicaid, Medicare, Healthy Montana Kids, or the Affordable Care Act is at risk under these proposals. Now more than ever, our communities need leaders who will work to get things done and improve access to health care, instead of playing partisan politics as usual.

Montana families deserve to know where Senator Daines stands.

Sign on to this letter to Senator Daines, and ask him to defend the thousands of families whose health care hangs in the balance.

July 15th Update: Until we have a firm commitment  from the Senator to protect coverage for all Montanans, defend Medicaid, and ensure that folks with preexisting conditions are protected, we’ll continue to gather sign-ons to this letter. Add your name and demand transparency from Senator Daines.

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Dear Senator Daines,

We represent ordinary Montanans – working people, children, people living with disabilities and seniors – the people who stand to lose critical access to health care and whose lives will be most impacted by the decisions you will make in the coming days and weeks as the Senate concludes its negotiations over their health care bill. We urge you to act on behalf of Montana and your constituents like Lindsey, rather than partisan politics.

Lindsey lives in Seeley Lake with her husband and five year old son. Her son was born in 2012 with a congenital heart defect that required open heart surgery at two days old and ongoing care. Thanks to Medicaid, Lindsey was able to avoid bankruptcy, get her son the life-saving care he needed, and not have to worry about whether he would be labeled with “pre-existing condition” for the rest of his life.

Yet the current version of the Senate health reform bill would leave Lindsey’s health and financial security in question, and she’s not alone. 113,000 Montanans would lose their health care coverage by 2026 including over 20,000 children. The BCRA would cut Montana’s Medicaid funding by $5.3 billion, blowing a hole in our state budget and forcing our state to ration care and cut essential programs and services. And it would slash subsidies to lower premiums for low- and moderate-income families by more than $400 billion, burdening these Montanans with new costs they just can’t afford. Under the BRCA, seniors in Montana could see their premiums rise to $5,492 a month. All of this just to finance tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This is not the reform Montana needs.

We ask that you publicly commit to rejecting any bill that:

• causes Montanans to lose coverage,
• ends Montana’s Medicaid expansion,
• caps and cuts the Medicaid program, or
• guts critical protections for Montanans with pre-existing health conditions.

There are many ways for Congress to come together to strengthen our markets, but this bill is not the answer. It’s clear that it cannot be “fixed” without addressing its major structural issues and deep cuts to Medicaid. Montana is counting on you to speak up for what’s right and ask Republican leadership to start over with a different, bipartisan approach to strengthening our healthcare system that puts ordinary Montanans like Lindsey first.