Montana Family Foundation Rebuffs RINOs: Medicaid Expansion DOES Pay for Abortion


As previously reported by the Montana Daily Gazette, the Montana Family Foundation became aware that some left-of-center Republicans in the Montana legislature, like Nancy Ballance (Hamilton) and Joel Krautter (Sidney) were defending their vote for the 2018 Medicaid Expansion Renewal by appealing to their scorecard from the foundation and they promised to issue a memo reiterating that the vote did indeed support tax-payer funded abortions. Yesterday, the Montana Family Foundation issued that memorandum (although it is dated April 1).

Although progressive Solutions Caucus members (those who ordinarily caucus with Democrats) have claimed the vote did not provide abortion funding, the Montana Family Foundation says otherwise.

In their memo released today, prepared by their legal counsel, Anita Y. Milanovich, reads, “This memorandum addresses whether Montana’s Medicaid Expansion program increases abortion availability under Medicaid. Although as shown below the analysis requires considerable scrutiny to unpack, the ultimate answer is yes” (see below).

You can find the full memo here.

Referring to a provision that RINOs are using to claim Medicaid does not pay for abortions, Milanovich writes, “While this might appear on its face to preclude pregnant women from receiving benefits under Medicaid Expansion, this provision simply establishes eligibility criteria. A nonpregnant woman who enrolls through Medicaid Expansion and then later becomes pregnant is not “kicked off” Medicaid Expansion and bumped to Medicaid coverage: she stays on, with Montana receiving reimbursement at the higher, federal matching rate of 90% rate (vs. the lower, federal matching related coverage beyond that provided under Medicaid.

“Paid for by Manzella for Montana Senate District 44 – Republican. Theresa Manzella, Treasurer. PO Box 1100, Hamilton, MT 59840 ”

Joel Krautter apparently solicited the help of Karen Costello, who works for Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, to write an op-ed in the Sidney Herald, claiming that abortion care isn’t provided in Medicaid expansion, which the hospital greedily promoted. Krautter, who has been the target of pro-life groups (see below) is eager to claim falsely that which is alleged by hospitals trying to distance themselves from the more scandalous aspects of the welfare vote they promoted.

On March 2, the Montana Daily Gazette published the article, Reminder: These Montana Republicans Voted for Taxpayer Funded Abortions. That post reminded Republicans considering how to vote in the upcoming June 2 primary that Medicaid Expansion Renewal was passed because a certain number of Republicans sided with Democrats. The chief Republican contribution to that bill was a work requirement, which has been overturned by the federal courts. Even more contradictory to Republican principles of smaller government and fewer entitlements is the fact that Medicaid funds abortions in the Big Sky State.

House Republicans who sided with Democrats for the measure include Fred Anderson, Nancy Ballance, David Bedey, Ed Buttrey, Geraldine Custer, Ross Fitzgerald, Rodney Garcia, Frank Garner, Sharon Greef, Bruce Grubbs, Kenneth Holmlund, Mike Hopkins, Llew Jones, Joel Krautter, Wendy McKamey, Denley Loge, Eric Moore, Walt Sales, Ray Shaw, and Tom Welch.

One of those Republicans, Nancy Ballance, claimed on Facebook that Medicaid does not provide tax-payer funded abortion. But careful research determines definitively that is not the case.

Krautter falsely claimed on his candidacy Facebook page that the hospital lobbyist “set the record straight.” In fact, it is the Montana Family Foundation that set the record straight today.

Krautter wrote, “It gets the TRUTH out there about the LIES from extremists who are claiming I voted for tax funded abortions!”

It is unclear if Krautter will continue to tout his Montana Family Foundation scorecard now that the organization has publicly rebuffed him on his errant claims, or if he will continue to characterize them as “extremists.” In the meantime, conservative voters should ask why the Solution Caucus members decided to expand a welfare program and exponentially grow the size of government in the first place.


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