This year is the 10th anniversary of the passage of Obamacare. Despite the promises of affordable healthcare, if you pay for your healthcare out of your own pocket, you cannot afford it. If the government pays for your healthcare, you don’t control it. If you’re a veteran, you can’t access it. It is time for Montana to take back control of our own healthcare!
As your next Governor, I have the plan to make healthcare affordable and accessible again for Montanans everywhere. The 2019 legislative session I sponsored two innovative healthcare regulation bills that would have lowered the costs of health insurance premiums and the cost of prescription medications. The first legislative bill was killed in committee by the legislators who championed Medicaid expansion. The second legislative bill was vetoed by Gov. Bullock in order to protect his campaign donors. As your next Governor, we will pass these two bills into law. Once this is accomplished, we will have created a viable alternative to Medicaid expansion and the current Medicaid expansion program can be repealed without loss of care to Montana’s working poor.
Second, we will protect Montanans with pre-existing health conditions and lower the cost of their healthcare premiums. I am proud to be part of the legislative healthcare working group that started the process of creating a health reinsurance program after President Trump was elected in 2016. This work resulted in Senate Bill 125 that became law in the 2019 legislative session. This law went into effect last November and has resulted in over 15% reduction in healthcare premium costs to Montanans buying their health insurance in the individual market. As your next Governor, we will continue to lower the costs of healthcare by solving the issues of surprise billing and commonsense price transparency for medical care in our state.
As your next Governor, I will ensure that our state government pays the true cost of the healthcare they purchase through the Medicaid program. Montana state government has reimbursed Montana’s healthcare system significantly below the cost of services provided for decades. This results in the healthcare system shifting these unpaid costs onto the healthcare bills of every day working Montanans. This is the #1 reason that healthcare costs in Montana have become unaffordable. It is a hidden tax within our healthcare bills that adds 10% to 20% to the cost of healthcare.
I am a healthcare policy expert. I left the comfort of my surgical practice to solve this issue of making healthcare affordable again. As your next Governor, I will fight to keep the healthcare system patient-centered, accessible, and affordable for every Montanan.
Al “Doc” Olszewski, MD
Candidate for Governor 2020
State Senator, SD 6