Governor Steve Bullock today joined a bipartisan group of governors urging Congress to reject the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment and instead continue to pursue an open and transparent process to find bipartisan solutions on healthcare reform that include both Republican and Democratic governors.
“This last-ditch effort to rip healthcare from thousands of Montanans and millions of Americans is insulting to all of the folks trying to work across the aisle to find meaningful solutions,” said Governor Bullock. “We need to fix healthcare, not destroy it.”
In the joint letter, Governor Bullock (D-MT), Governor Hickenlooper (D-CO), Governor Kasich (R-OH), Governor Walker (I-AK), Governor Wolf (D-PA), Governor McAuliffe (D-VA), Governor Bel Edwards (D-LA), Governor Sandoval (R-NV), Governor Baker (R-MA), and Governor Scott (R-VT) wrote, “We ask you to support bipartisan efforts to bring stability and affordability to our insurance markets. Legislation should receive consideration under regular order, including hearings in health committees and input from the appropriate health-related parties. Improvements to our health insurance markets should control costs, stabilize the market, and positively impact coverage and care of millions of Americans, including many who are dealing with mental illness, chronic health problems, and drug addiction.”
Two weeks ago Governor Bullock testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and urged the committee to focus on the immediate steps Congress can take to stabilize premiums and help individuals in the insurance market.
Governor Bullock has consistently urged Congress to work with Republican and Democratic governors to find bipartisan solutions to fix America’s healthcare system. Last month, Bullock joined 4 other Democratic governors, 5 Republican governors, and 1 Independent to pursue an open, bipartisan process. Last month he joined a similar bipartisan group of governors to suggest a set of guiding principles to address rising healthcare costs and restore stability to insurance markets.
Bullock has publically criticized the secretive, one-party process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as “exactly what’s wrong with Washington, D.C” and blasted previous House and Senate proposals that would have damaging impacts on Montanans “half-baked and heartless.”
Bullock worked with Republican and Democratic legislators to pass the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, an innovative approach to Medicaid expansion. This has led to a dramatic drop in the number of Montanans without insurance. Nearly 80,000 Montanans have gained access to healthcare and the uninsured rate in Montana has dropped from a staggering 20% in 2013 to 7% in 2016.