Montana Health Leaders Speak Out Against GOP Health Care Bill

Jul 6, 2017

Leaders of Montana doctors, nurses and hospital groups today spoke out against the health care bill being proposed by Senate Republicans.

John Goodnow is the CEO of Benefis, Montana's second largest hospital system, based in Great Falls. And he's no fan of the health care bill the House passed in May. Nor does he like the Senate's proposed changes to it.

"We went from horrid with the House health care bill to horrid-er with Senate bill. Maybe we'll start back in the other direction now after the recess, we'll see," Goodnow says.

The head of the Montana Hospital Association also said the bill would be bad for health care in the state, because it would reduce the number of people with health coverage.

A representative of the state's biggest physician's organization said, thanks to the Medicaid expansion, they're now seeing people who had been unable to afford care, and those people would be left without coverage if the Senate bill passes.

Laura Terrill with Planned Parenthood of Montana? No fan of the Senate bill either.

"This bill is the worst bill in a generation for women's health," Terrill says.

The panel organized by the Montana Nurses Association drew about 50 people in Helena. Its goal was to put public pressure on the Senate not to pass the bill Republican leadership is working on. The Senate is back in session Monday, there is no set date for a vote on the bill.