Trust in Service

By Beacon Staff

The GOP and politicians like rep. Derek Skees and U.S. Rep. Dennis Rehberg share a common campaign theme of repealing “ObamaCare” at any cost.

Pragmatically, that’s just silly. Real people deserve better health care.

At a Kalispell debate, Rehberg advocated for more insurance pools and interstate mobility of insurance policies. Sen. Jon Tester patiently explained that if Rehberg would read the law, ObamaCare already includes these reforms.

The new brand of Republican is hedging the election upon a notion that voters will select candidates who run against health care. But healthy people enjoy longer and more productive lives.

Ever since Sen. Max Baucus shepherded the Affordable Care Act through Congress, no Montana Republican has been willing to help people with health care reform. That appears cold-hearted and plainly illustrates a new brand of GOP.

Skees wants to be the next state insurance commissioner. He single-mindedly advocates for an outright refusal to implement the insurance reforms in Montana. “If one state says, ‘We’re not going to do it,’ what are the feds going to do?” Skees said. “What if we just said, ‘No?’ What are they going to do?”

Such an ideological political stance is absurd. No amount of secret political advertising can change the fact that real people deserve access to better health care and life-saving procedures.

Mike McCready is the lead guitarist for the band Pearl Jam. A video entitled “Life is a Pre-existing Condition” appeared on the band’s YouTube page. McCready says that previously he was twice denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions – like Crohn’s disease – affect thousands of Montanans.

Whitefish local Lisa Jones spoke powerfully in a Tester television advertisement. Jones said, “It’s been a year since they found the cancer. So it’s very personal to me that Congressman Dennis Rehberg voted to eliminate funding for breast cancer screenings.”

Rehberg says that he will defund and repeal ObamaCare. Rehberg also bizarrely attempted to cut funding for the Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell, which served over 8,000 patients last year.

At the time, the health clinic’s executive director Wendy Doely said, “The cuts in the continuing resolution will defund 127 new access programs, which essentially means that we would close.”

Republican governor candidate and former Congressman Rick Hill is a former insurance executive who oddly campaigned for policies that force women to pay extra in premiums. Hill also accepted a $500,000 campaign check that is now being disputed in court.

Hill’s successor in Congress is Rehberg, who was endorsed by secret-money champions like the Citizens United group. Citizens United also backs candidates like Todd Akin, who became infamous for his “legitimate rape” comment about women, and Richard Mourdock, who said that pregnancy from rape can be “something that God intended to happen.”

There is a habitual pattern among the new GOP of not being able to fathom that life is unpredictable. In life, good people get sick. The new brand of GOP implies that policy is an ideological debate, absent of real people.

With stockpiles of secret money in today’s elections, one value that cannot be bought is voter trust. Whom do voters trust to stand with “we the people” and “form a more perfect union?”

Sen. Tester, Attorney General Steve Bullock and Auditor Monica Lindeen embody trust in service. These pragmatic and fiscally conservative Democrats are proven leaders. They share a willingness to work with Republicans and compromise for a more fair and civil Montana.

Ordinary Montanans enjoy busy lives and vote for trustworthy public servants. Unlike campaign contributions, our voting choices are meant to be secret. Trust your judgment and vote.

Voting still matters. Do it today. It’s time to confirm your trust in democracy.

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