Montana Prohibit State Resources for Affordable Care Act Initiative (2014)
|Voting on Healthcare|
|Not on ballot|
Text of measure
The proposed ballot question would read as follows:
This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
|“|| I‐171 prohibits the State of Montana and its political subdivisions from using funds, personnel or other resources to administer or enforce the federal Affordable Care Act. I‐ 171 prohibits expansion of the Montana Medicaid program as provided under the Affordable Care Act. I‐171 further prohibits the state and its political subdivisions from planning, creating or participating in a health insurance exchange.
The state would save approximately $1.92 billion in state revenues and lose $4.75 billion in federal revenues over five years based on an assumption that the federal government would end the state’s Medicaid Plan, Children’s Health Insurance Plan, and several other programs due to noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act.
- Sponsor Matthew Monforton argued, "The federal government is entitled to enforce Obamacare … but it is not entitled to commandeer state resources to do. If President Obama wants Obamacare in Montana, he has to pay for it — he can’t force Montanans to pay for it."
- Montana Women Vote
- Sarah Howell, executive director of Montana Women Vote, said, "This (proposed measure) goes further than just preventing Medicaid expansion and dismantles existing programs that Montana families and kids use to access health care. That’s something we won’t stand for."
Opponents, including Montana Women Votes, asked the Montana Supreme Court to disqualify the proposed measure. Their petition to the court claimed that the initiative is “legally insufficient” and unconstitutional. Matthew Monforton, a Bozeman attorney who helped write the Medicaid Expansion Initiative, said the ballot language is misleading and contains an incorrect fiscal impact statement. Furthermore, the petitioners claim that the initiative violates the state’s single-subject clause for ballot measures. In a 5-0 ruling, the supreme court denied the case. Justice Beth Baker said, "We conclude that none of these constitutional claims meets the definition of a legal deficiency within the scope of the attorney general’s authority on review of a proposed ballot measure."
Path to the ballot
Attorney Matthew Monforton of Bozeman sponsored the initiative and submitted documents to the Office of the Secretary of State on December 18, 2013. On March 10, 2014, the initiative was approved for circulation.
To gain ballot access for the November 2014 ballot, supporters need to collect valid signatures from ten percent of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial general election, including ten percent of the voters in each of the forty legislative house districts. In total, supporters need to collect 24,174 valid signatures. Those signatures need to be submitted by the petition drive deadline on June 20, 2014.
- Montana Secretary of State, "2014 Proposed Ballot Issues," accessed January 9, 2014
- KPAX, "Ballot initiative aims to stop Obamacare," December 23, 2013
- Montana Secretary of State, "BALLOT LANGUAGE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE NO. 171 (CI-171)," accessed March 11, 2014
- Helena Independent Record, "Ballot measure to block Obamacare sought," December 21, 2013
- Missoulian, "Opposing Montana initiatives on Medicaid OK'd for signatures-gathering," March 10, 2014
- Missoulian, "Montana justices reject attempt to block initiative that forbids Medicaid expansion," April 2, 2014
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