Rep. Greg Gianforte Again Voted Against Protecting Montanans with Preexisting Conditions

Sam OfferdahlNews

Helena – For the second week in a row, Rep. Greg Gianforte voted against protecting Montanans with preexisting conditions by voting “no” last night on legislation that would limit the sale of ‘junk’ insurance plans, which can deny health coverage to people with preexisting conditions.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act,” a package of bills designed to limit the sale of junk health insurance plans, tackle the rising cost of prescription drugs and make it easier to sign up for health insurance. Gianforte voted against the legislative package.

“This is the second vote in as many weeks that Rep. Gianforte has shown his allegiances do not lie with Montanans, who need affordable, quality health insurance,” said Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Monica Lindeen.“Montanans with preexisting conditions deserve a representative in Congress who will fight for them – not someone who will vote in favor of higher health care costs or limit their ability to even get health coverage in the first place.”

A report from the American Cancer Society released this week showed that short-term, limited-duration or ‘junk’ health insurance plans “expose enrollees with serious illnesses to higher out-of-pocket cost” when it comes to health coverage for people with preexisting conditions, including cancer. The report recommended lawmakers “consider prohibiting the sale, or at the very least limiting the availability of short-term plans because of the inadequacy of their coverage.”

Last night’s vote comes just a week after Gianforte voted against another bill to protect Montanans with preexisting conditions, the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act” (H.R. 986). The House-passed bill would block recent efforts to allow more junk health insurance plans that could raise the cost of coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

Additionally, Gianforte has expressed support for other proposals that would make it harder for Montanans to get or keep their health insurance.

Read more from the American Cancer Society’s report here.

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