FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 27th, 2020
Advocates for Frontline Essential Workers, Vulnerable Montanans, “Condemn The Candidacy of Greg Gianforte”
Gianforte Rejected By Major Montana Unions For Long Standing Opposition To Health Care As COVID-19 Presents Unprecedented Public Health Challenge
Helena, MT – This morning, the Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE), SEIU 775, and Big Sky 55+ condemned Greg Gianforte’s candidacy and underscored his failure of leadership on health care as COVID-19 undermines Montanans health and economic well-being. Representatives redoubled their commitment to defending quality and affordable health care for all Montanans, and excoriated Congressman Greg Gianforte for his shameful record working to undermine it.
Key excerpts of the call below:
MDP Executive Director, Sandi Luckey – “I’m especially grateful to have Labor on the phone, whose members are fighting on the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus. You all are redefining what it means to be essential, and we’re honored to be in this fight to protect our health care together. In spite of our national public health emergency, Rep. Greg Gianforte still supports “dismantling the Affordable Care Act, piece by piece,” and killing expanded Medicaid in Montana.
MFPE President-elect, Amanda Curtis – “MFPE, Montana’s largest labor union, represents 23,000 essential workers in every corner of the state. We have lots of members who depend on Montana’s Medicaid expansion for health care, which is just one reason why our elected board of directors voted unanimously to condemn the candidacy of Greg Gianforte. I don’t think that we’ve ever – in our 138 year history – adopted a new business item condemning the candidacy of anyone. Our members feel really seriously about Greg Gianfore lying, saying he would dismantle the ACA, and now that he’s running for Governor saying that he understands how important it is… [Gianforte is] just being duplicitous and lying to serve his best interests. We’ve seen him do that before, and we don’t actually believe that he cares about our health care.”
SEIU 775 State Director, Jacquie Helt – “Our folks are on the front line. We represent health care workers who are caring for people all across the state, including in our reservation communities. Many of our members can’t afford health care, even while they’re delivering it. I’d like to remind folks that Greg Gianforte violently assaulted a reporter because he had the audacity to ask him a question about health care. Not only did he assault him, but then he lied to the police and the people of Montana about it. [Greg Gianforte] continues to say most recently, that he doesn’t support repealing Medicaid expansion… He may not want to repeal it, but he wants to starve it and then drown it in a bathtub. And we have far too many people relying on [Medicaid expansion] here in Montana. We’re not going to let that happen.”
Big Sky 55+ Executive Director, Tully Olson – “58% of Montana seniors living in nursing homes have health coverage through Medicaid. Since 2010, Montana has not closed one rural hospital. Medicaid expansion has proven to be extremely successful in Montana. We’re calling on Congressman Greg Gianforte to denounce the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. If successful, that lawsuit would deny health insurance to 425,000 Montanans who have a pre-existing condition and over 80,000 Montanans who receive coverage through Medicaid expansion.”
Listen to the entire call here.
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