Daines “Obamacare” Ad Fact Check


FACT: Walsh Did Not Vote for Obamacare, Believes “Jury Is Still Out” On Law

  • Walsh Did Not Vote for Obamacare, Was Serving as Adjutant General of Montana National Guard. At the time that Obamacare was being debated and passed in Congress, Walsh was serving as Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard helping deploy troops to Iraq. [Billings Gazette, 2/11/14]
  • Walsh: “Jury is Still Out” on Obamacare. According to Great Falls Tribune at the May 3 Primary Debate, “Walsh said he was disappointed with the roll-out of the health care law.“With regard to supporting ACA, the jury is still out,” Walsh said. “The intent was to bring health care costs down and provide health care for all of our citizens. As of today, we’re not seeing that.”  [Great Falls Tribune, 5/3/14]
  • “Walsh Had Little Positive to Say” “Adams and Bohlinger said they’re supportive of the Affordable Care Act – the health-reform law known as ‘Obamacare’ – but that it’s only a first step, and that America should move toward a single-payer health system that provides equal coverage to all. Walsh had little positive to say about the ACA, and said he supports efforts that would reduce the cost of health care, such as empowering the government and others to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry over prescription-drug prices.” [Billings Times, 5/04/14]
  • Walsh: I’m Disappointed with the Affordable Care Act. “Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh said the controversial health reform law left a bad taste in his mouth. ‘I didn’t vote on the Affordable Care Act, and there’s been a lot of problems with the Affordable Care Act, so I’m disappointed,’ he said.” [Newsmax, 4/02/14]
  • “Walsh Had Little Positive to Say about the ACA,” Supports Efforts to Reduce Cost of Health Care.” “Walsh has little positive to say about the ACA, and said he supports efforts that would reduce the cost of health care, such as empowering the government and others to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry over prescription drug prices.” [Billings Gazette, 5/03/14]
  • Walsh: Government Needs to Bring Health Care Costs Down. “Walsh said the federal government needs to find ways to bring down health care costs “so we can provide quality, affordable health care for all our citizens.” [Great Falls Tribune, 5/3/14]
  • “Senate Candidate Walsh Upset with Plans ‘Dropped” by Obamacare.” “People that had health care coverage are being dropped from their coverage. To me, that’s unacceptable,” said Walsh. “The intent was, is that all our citizens were able to have quality affordable healthcare and if you had health care coverage, why should they be dropped? That’s going against what the intent of the law is. So we need to make sure, from my perspective, the citizens of Montana that have health care, that they’re able to keep their health coverage, and not be dropped from it,” Walsh said. [KPAX, 12/18/13]
  • Walsh: Criticized President Obama Called for Fix to Allow Americans to Keep Their Current Insurance Plans. “John Walsh agrees this rollout was disastrous and now Congress needs to immediately fix the law to hold insurance companies accountable and to make sure Montanans can stay on their plans. This administration still hasn’t gone far enough to dix this mess,” said Walsh’s campaign manager. [The Hill, 11/15/13]

FACT: Daines Criticizes Medicare Cuts He Voted For – TWICE

  • Daines Twice Voted to Cut $700 Billion from Medicare. Daines twice voted for the Ryan budget that cut $700 billion from Medicare, the same cuts in Obamacare. [H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; Salon, 4/02/14; Politico, 3/12/13]

FACT: Daines Twice Voted to Privatize Medicare Increasing Costs on Seniors

  • Daines twice voted to privatize Medicare. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan. The Ryan Budget aims to privatize Medicare by implementing a “premium support” system.  [H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13,Time, 4/1/14]
  • 149,832 Montana Seniors Would Be Forced Out Of Traditional Medicare And Into A Voucher Program. Under the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, all Montana seniors will receive a voucher instead of guaranteed benefits under traditional Medicare beginning in 2023. For the 149,832 Montanans aged 45-54 at the time of the most recent Census, the value of their vouchers would be capped at growth levels that are lower than the projected increases in health care costs. Private insurance plans will aggressively pursue the healthiest, least expensive enrollees, thereby allowing Medicare – currently the lifeline for 177,835 Montana seniors – to “wither on the vine.”    [DPCC, 2013; House Republican Budget, 3/12/13; CAP, 3/20/12; Census, accessed on 3/10/13; KFF, accessed on 3/10/13]
  • Daines’ Voucher system would increase out-of-pocket costs for seniors by 50 percent. In 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that raises income-related monthly premiums for middle-class seniors with incomes of more than $46,000 per year. The Congressional Budget Office found that under a premium support plan, premiums would increase by 50 percent for traditional Medicare. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; National Council on Aging, 4/09/14; AmericanProgress.org, 2/05/14]
  • Montana Seniors Would Pay As Much as $5,900 More. The Ryan budget would cap these vouchers for individuals at growth levels that are lower than the existing increases in health care costs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the plan would increase out of pocket costs by $5,900 and lead to diminished access to quality care. [DPCC, 2013; House Republican Budget, 3/12/13; CAP, 3/20/12; Census, accessed on 3/10/13; KFF, accessed on 3/10/13]
  • Daines Plan would raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that would raise the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries and leave many 65 and 66 year olds without health coverage. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13]