Cruz/Daines: Leave Marriage to the States

Aaron Flint posted on February 11, 2015 15:14 :: 553 Views

Get ready to bear the brunt of the full cost of Obamacare.  That’s what Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) has to say below.  Plus, House Republicans in Montana unveil their alternative to Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.  But first, Ted Cruz and Steve Daines team up on a bill to leave marriage to the states.

Politico: Ted Cruz introduces bill to leave marriage to the states

Cruz, along with 11 other Republican senators, re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act on Tuesday, which aims to allow states to adopt their own definitions of marriage and would block the federal government from applying its own definition of marriage onto states.

“Even though the Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama Administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically-elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage,” Cruz said in a press release.

Cruz’s effort is joined by Senators Lee, John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), James Inhofe (R-Okla). James Lankford (R-Okla.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and David Vitter (R-La.) Congressman Randy Weber (R-Texas).

The Daily Signal: Obamacare Co-Ops Cost Taxpayers $17,000 Per Enrollee

More than 500,000 people enrolled in health plans offered by nonprofit insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act.

And with the co-ops receiving an average of $108.7 million from the federal government, taxpayer-backed funding per enrollee topped $17,000.

By comparison, an analysis conducted by Forbes after the end of the first open enrollment period found that taxpayers spent $4,633 per enrollee on the federal exchange. At that time, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said more than 8 million had enrolled in Obamacare.

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) Press Release: Millions of Americans Could Soon Be Forced to Bear Full Cost of Obamacare

“The only reason health care costs aren’t even higher for a lot of people, is because the Obama Administration decided to give subsidies to some people to help hide the true cost.  Over the next few months, the Supreme Court is going to decide if President Obama is breaking his own law by giving out some of those subsidies.”


Back in Montana, House Republicans in the state legislature unveiled their alternative to Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Here is the full press release from House Republicans.  Click here to read additional coverage.


Republican Working Group Releases Big Sky Health Plan

HELENA, Mont. – A working group of Senators and Representatives today released a plan to improve Montana’s healthcare system. The Big Sky Health Plan is grouped into four areas of focus: Effective Management, Community Mental Health, Coverage for Montana Families, and Innovative Reforms.

Republicans are listening and responding to the majority of Montanans who don’t want Obamacare expansion.

“It is important to note that our plan is long term and sustainable, it is not conditional on new federal programs. We are focused on getting the right services to the right people while staying accountable to the taxpayer,” said Senator Fred Thomas.

Representative Ron Ehli spoke about the Community Mental Health bills. “The Children Family Health and Human Services interim committee has worked together to develop this plan to address Montana’s mental health crisis, and we believe these bills go far to improve the community-based mental health care in our state,” Ehli said.

“Our plan directly responds to the comments received on our healthcare and welfare programs, and going forward we will ensure that the safety net remains in place for those who truly need it,” said Representative Art Wittich who spoke directly on the Effective Management group of bills.

Senator Cary Smith spoke about the Innovative Reforms section of the plan and stated that “removing some of the red tape and bureaucracy will make healthcare services less expensive while allowing people to get the best care they can. Twenty percent of our healthcare costs come from healthcare litigation and we want to change the culture of defensive healthcare in our country.”

Representative Nancy Ballance summarized the group’s goals, stating “as Republicans we know that the most important thing is to get the right services to the right people and ensure we can pay for them over time while continuing to be accountable to the taxpayer.” She emphasized that this is a Montana-based Medicaid solution that doesn’t rely on new federal programs or unreliable federal funding.

There are aspects of this program that will increase spending in the short term, but the group emphasized that they will save the state of Montana money in the long term. Fiscal notes for the bills are still being written and will be released in the coming weeks.





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