FACT CHECK: Rosendale Has Repeatedly Attacked Protections for Montanans with Pre-Existing Conditions  

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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FACT CHECK: Rosendale Has Repeatedly Attacked Protections for Montanans with Pre-Existing Conditions
 
Helena, MT – A recent fact-check from Politi-Fact and the Montana Free Press examines Rosendale’s far-fetched claim to be a fighter for protections for Montanans with pre-existing conditions, and thoroughly dismantles it, leaving a verdict of “Mostly False.”

Rosendale’s history of attacking protections for pre-existing conditions is welldocumented. Rosendale has long been vocal in his support for efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which protects those with pre-existing conditions like asthma — and COVID-19. If Maryland Matt had his way, 152,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions would once again be vulnerable to insurance company discrimination.

Rosendale has also pushed junk insurance in direct response to concerns over coronavirus, despite the fact that “not all short-term plans may cover testing for COVID-19” and that the plans couldreject Montanans who have pre-existing health conditions.”

PolitiFact: Fighting for patient protections while attacking ACA — hard to have it both ways
By: Alex Sakariassen

Highlights:

  • On Sept. 22, Rosendale’s campaign hit airwaves and online streaming services with an ad featuring a Whitefish resident named Sandee, whose son was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Sandee told the story of how Rosendale came to her family’s aid, concluding that “Matt fights for everyone with a preexisting condition.”
  • As is often the case with health care policy, however, the truth is far from simple. Rosendale and many other Republican congressional candidates face the challenge of convincing voters they support these safeguards even as they oppose the Affordable Care Act, which codifies those safeguards.
  • The reinsurance program that Rosendale touts wouldn’t exist without a state innovation waiver created by the ACA, which Rosendale says he’ll work to repeal. That effort will doubtless continue to fuel pitched battles in Congress, and how the U.S. Supreme Court may rule on a pending ACA challenge remains a point of speculationOne thing is clear, though: If the entire ACA is thrown out, the reinsurance program goes with it, along with Montana’s Medicaid expansion and the ban on insurers from excluding people with health problems from affordable coverage.
  • When asked about the resulting elimination of the reinsurance program, DeMars reiterated that Rosendale’s work as auditor has created a system that will ensure protections for preexisting conditions “regardless of what happens to the ACA.” She did not elaborate or explain what protections would remain if the ACA were repealed.
  • In the long-term, however, Rosendale’s positions begin to run counter to the claim. His support for short-term, limited-duration plans poses a considerable threat to keeping health insurance affordable for all, and absent a solid plan from Congress to ensure that state reinsurance programs survive, his stated goal of repealing the ACA would actually serve to unravel the very protection he’s built his case on.
  • We rate this statement as Mostly False.
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