Home / Politics / Montana Democrats cop to letting lobbyists write their anti-Medicare for All op-eds

Montana Democrats cop to letting lobbyists write their anti-Medicare for All op-eds

COVINGTON, KY-JULY 9: People protest at a "Bridging the Gap For Healthcare Rally" on the Roebling Suspension Bridge July 9, 2017 in Covington, Kentucky. The rally was part of a day of healthcare-related protests in Covington, with another rally being held there tonight lead by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)  to urge Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) not to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Who needs Republicans when you have Democrats acting like this? Montana state Rep. Kathy Kelker and state Sen. Jen Gross, both Democrats, are admitting that recent anti-Medicare for All columns published under their names were written largely by lobbyists.

The Washington Post obtained emails exchanged between state lawmakers and a multimillion-dollar industry-funded group called Partnership for America’s Health Care Future from the nonprofit advocacy group Medicare for All Now, which received them through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails show that an industry lobbyist, John MacDonald, reached out to the state lawmakers to have them “write” opinion columns “that warned against the dangers of Medicare-for-all and other government involvement in health care.” In addition to the two Montana Democrats, Republican Ohio state Sen. Steve Huffman published on op-ed written with the “help” of another industry lobbyist, Kathleen DeLand. Those columns published by the lawmakers all lacked one thing: disclosure that they were written with help from industry lobbyists.

So far, Partnership for America’s Health Care Future has spent more than $1 million in issue ads for the 2020 cycle, all against Medicare for All and other proposals aimed at expanding Americans’ access to health care. It’s clearly ready to fight for the status quo at every level, all the way down to state legislatures. “These secret emails blow open what I saw firsthand and revealed as a health insurance whistleblower: These companies and their lobbyists will stoop to whatever it takes, no matter how grotesque, to deny people the lifesaving coverage they need,” said Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive who is now president of Business for Medicare for All.

Democrats should not be helping them.


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