Move hamstrings economic recovery, pulls the rug out from under seniors, Montanans with disabilities, and Montanans struggling with mental health

HELENA – In the January 8, 2021meeting of the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee Section B, Republican members approved a starting point motion to cut $965 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, including $96 million from Disability Services, $96 million from Senior Long Term Care, and $34 million from Addictive and Mental Health Disorders.

“In addition to being an attack on Montanans’ health care, this will hamstring Montana’s economic recovery before it begins, cut high-paying jobs in the health care industry, and force Montanans out of the workforce to fill the health care gaps Republicans are creating,” said Senator Mary McNally.

“This move will shutter private sector businesses and kill thousands of private sector jobs across the state, eliminate treatment opportunities for Montanans with Alzheimers, and complicate the path to safety for neglected and abused children.” said Representative Mary Caferro. “There is simply no reason that as we emerge from an unprecedented pandemic, we should move to cut nearly one billion dollars from vital health care services for seniors, Montanans with disabilities, and Montanans struggling with mental health.”

Three years ago, cuts to the DPHHS in the wake of the 2017 special session led to job losses, reduced or eliminated health care services, and in some cases shuttered providers. Now, Republican legislators are going even further to gouge health care access for Montanans and undermine Montana’s economic recovery. 

Democrats will fight to restore these critical funds, and build a budget that creates jobs, preserves access to health care, and expands opportunity for all Montanans.

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