Several weeks ago, before the letters to the editor by Representative Joel Krautter, Julie Millam of Helena and Glenda Edgeworth of Stevensville, I had been asked for my opinion about the allegation that Rep. Krautter’s vote for Medicaid reform supported abortion. My ‘off the top of my head’ response included these points.
Having had several conversations with Mr. Krautter personally I have no reason to question his sincerity when he says he is anti-abortion and very pro-life.
I know that he is part of a strong, Bible believing pro-life church.
I have always found Mr.Krautter to be a thoughtful, deliberate, decision maker and communicator. I have never had a reason to doubt that he is a common sense, conservative, Republican, problem-solving leader. He successfully advocated for Richland County and eastern Montana on many issues during the last legislative session.
However, being someone who likes to find out “the rest of the story,” I began my research. I looked up and read the bills, scoured the Montana Family Foundation website, printed off their Legislative scorecard and sent them a list of questions. I looked up other sources of pertinent information as I thought of them. I read Mr. Krautter’s op-ed. All my research pointed to the same conclusions as Mr. Krautter’s, that his vote on the Medicaid reform bill did not change the law at all on the issue of abortion coverage.
When I spoke to Montana Family Foundation President/CEO [Jeff] Laszloffy, he stated, “We want the scorecard to be an accurate reflection of where legislators stand on a given issue, and the confusion that exists even today on HB 658’s impact on abortion is the reason we chose not to score the bill.”
Joel Krautter maintains a 100% pro-life rating with their organization.
It also needs to be highlighted that the non-partisan Montana Legislative Services division that provides analysis and research to Montana’s legislators, as well as the legal counsel for Montana Catholic Hospitals and other pro-life legislators all disagree with any assertions that Medicaid reform changed the law on abortion coverage or access.
On a side note, as I understand it, the Medicaid expansion bill that was on the 2018 ballot was to decide if we wanted to make Medicaid expansion permanent. The 2019 Medicaid reform bill did not make it permanent.
The board members of our hospital are also constituents of Representative Krautter. He needs to listen to all of us, and I believe he does.
He has my vote.