Rahm Emmanuel, former Obama staffer and former Chicago mayor, is famous for saying, “Never waste a crisis.” Governor Steve Bullock seems to be in hearty agreement. The Montana governor is busy on the campaign trail, using his privilege as the state’s chief executor and using state resources to stump-speech in the name of coronavirus recovery, to laud socialized medicine and lobby for its further expansion.
Speaking at the Bozeman Health Deaconness Hospital, Bullock praised the Solutions Caucus – a group of Democrats led by Llew Jones who have convinced their constituents to send them to Helena as Republicans – for passing Medicaid Expansion, which places the burden of medical expenses upon tax-payers for roughly 8% of Montanans.
Bullock told the special interest group, “But we did know at that time that this health coverage is fundamental to increasing access to care and treatment, to our economic livelihoods in Montana, and to keeping our rural hospitals afloat.”
Bullock was speaking of Medicaid Expansion Renewal, passed in 2019 by Solutions Caucus “Republicans” and by Democrats even though the state overwhelmingly rejected the proposal in a ballot measure in 2018. Bullock continued the argument that rural hospitals would be forced to close to mitigate coronavirus if the state wasn’t paying the bills of the uninsured.
The governor went on, “I think that the emergence of COVID-19 has just further highlighted the vital importance of removing barriers to getting needed health care.”
In reality, rural Montana hospitals have never been in financial jeopardy because of coronavirus. Not only have our hospitals not been overwhelmed (COVID-19 is 66% less deadly than the flu in Montana), each coronavirus case is worth approximately 5 thousand dollars in federal money, 13 thousand if they have pneumonia in addition to coronavirus, and 39 thousand if they are placed on a ventilator. This is federal money, disassociated from Montana Medicaid payments. And it is ample to cover the financial need for medical care (and then some).
For Governor Bullock, every day is a day to increase the size of Montana’s government and increase the tax-burden on its citizens.