Rick Hill: “He’s Been Fighting Against Women’s Health Issues for Years”

Assertion Comes as Montanans Celebrate National Women’s Health Week

Helena, Mont. – While running for governor, former insurance executive and member of the U.S. House of Representatives Rick Hill has stated that he wants to “move Montana forward” (1). But, throughout his career as a congressman, insurance company executive, and candidate for governor, Hill has led the charge against moving women’s health issues forward. And, Montana Democrats are calling attention to this important issue while folks all across Big Sky Country celebrate National Women’s Health Week.

 

“Congressman Hill has led an assault on women’s health issues throughout his career as a congressman, insurance company executive, and as a candidate for Governor of our state,” said Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Ted Dick. “He supports letting insurance companies discriminate against women, has a history of publicly criticizing single women who are unable to have children because of health issues, and women’s health insurance rates skyrocketed while he was serving as an executive for the company. Montanans deserve better than Rick Hill as our next Governor.”

 

Examples of Congressman Hill’s Assault on Women’s Health Issues Include:

 

  • Supports Letting Insurance Companies Discriminate Against Women: While campaigning for governor in 2012, Rick Hill has touted his support for repealing Montana’s “unisex” insurance law, which makes it illegal for insurance companies to consider gender when evaluating the risk of policy holders (2).

 

  • Publicly Criticized Opponent for Being a Single Woman and Unable to Have Kids: While running for re-election in 1999, Congressman Hill said that Nancy Keenan was not fit to be Montana’s lone U.S. Representative because she did not have children (3). He also alleged that Keenan could not appreciate the intensity of the shooting at Columbine High School because she wasn’t a mother (4). Keenan rebutted by saying she “wanted to have children,” but was unable to because of a hysterectomy. She also noted that “nothing is more devastating when a doctor walks into the room and says you’ll never have children” (5).

 

  • Health Premiums Skyrocketed While Hill Was Insurance Company Executive: While serving as a health insurance executive, the company he worked for increased rates by as much 35 percent (6).

 

“We need to make certain that the voters across Montana know that when it comes to Rick Hill, he’s been fighting against women’s health issues for years,” said Dick.

 

Check the Facts (Sources):

1. YouTube. “Rick Hill: Moving Montana Forward.” February 23, 2012. Hyperlink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMKQMrjP3L4.

2. Associated Press. “GOP Candidates Embrace Insurance Industry Bills.” April 19, 2012. Hyperlink: http://www.abcmontana.com/news/state/148174715.html

3. Roll Call. “Rep. Hill Blasts Challenger’s ‘Lifestyle.’” May 14, 1999. No Hyperlink Available.

4. Associated Press. “Hill Says Keenan’s Lifestyle Means She Can’t Feel Intensity of Columbine,” June 2, 1999. No Hyperlink Available.

5. Great Falls Tribune. “Hill Unleashes First Campaign Volley.” May 25, 1999. No Hyperlink Available.

6. Associated Press. “Insure Montana May Cut Benefits to Reduce Premium Increases.” October 23, 2007. No Hyperlink Available.

 

-30-

Rick Hill Announces Wolf Management Plan

Helena, MT – Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill joined sportsmen, landowners, ranchers, legislators and other stakeholders to discuss his plan for the management of Montana’s wolf population. 

 
“Right now we are at a tipping point with wolves, the point where we won’t be able to manage the population any more because there are too many of them. The number of wolves in Montana continues to grow and the population is spreading,” said Hill.
 
According to the mandates of the wolf de-listing from the Endangered Species Act, Montana needs to maintain 150 wolves, including ten breeding pairs. Today the minimum wolf count is 650, but most experts acknowledge the actual number is likely 10-30% higher than that, with 715-845 wolves in Montana.  With birth litters on the horizon, the number of wolves could reach 1000.  Some fish and game experts worry that if wolf numbers continue to expand it will be difficult for conventional management tactics to bring the numbers back to manageable levels—and that could have a catastrophic impact on Montana’s elk and other big game herds, and increase pressure on livestock producers.
 
“Our current control methods are not adequate. If we don’t approach this problem head on—our ranchers, landowners, and sportsmen will be negatively impacted. If we don’t act now it will be too late.”
 
“I believe FWP needs an aggressive series of steps immediately to control the wolf populations.  It’s critical that we make an immediate and dramatic reduction in wolf numbers,” said Hill.
 
Hill’s plan includes splitting the state into two separate zones for wolf management: a Wolf Aggressive Management Zone, to control the population in Western Montana, and a Wolf No Tolerance Zone that does not permit wolves to spread to Central or Eastern Montana.
 
“We will work with the experts and the counties to establish the line for the no tolerance zone.  No wolves will be allowed east of that line.  When they cross that line they will be considered predators, and any person with a gun can legally shoot them at any time of day, on any day of the year.”
 
Hill’s proposal also includes: a lengthening of the wolf-hunting season, the use of trapping, the ability for hunters to shoot more than one wolf, and more aggressive pack removal from livestock depredations.
 
“We will immediately introduce these changes upon being sworn in as Governor. Working with a new Fish and Wildlife Commission, I will make it a priority for the legislature to pass any needed statutory changes within the first two weeks of the 2013 session so we can immediately cut down the predator numbers.”
 
In addition, Hill pledged a change in the culture and leadership at the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.  
 
“Restoring the trust and cooperation between sportsmen and landowners will be the top priority of the new leadership at FWP.  It’s time we start listening and partnering with landowners, counties and sportsmen and women to address their concerns and needs,” said Hill.
 

**SEE ATTACHMENT FOR ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND**

###
 

About Rick Hill:  Rick’s career has spanned from business to public service. Rick has run businesses, helped others get their businesses started, and served as Montana’s Representative in Congress. During his time in Congress, Rick was recognized for his work in defense of free enterprise and personal liberty and his commitment to fighting federal over-reach and budget deficits. Rick has been married to Betti for 28 years; they have three grown sons and seven grandchildren. Rick announced his bid for governor in November of 2010.
 
About Jon Sonju:  From working in his dad’s body shop growing-up, to helping expand his family’s Kalispell based manufacturing business, Sonju Industrial, Jon understands the challenges business owners face. Elected to the Montana Legislature in 2004, he has served in both the State House and the State Senate. During his time in the legislature he has been a consistent advocate for economic opportunity, smaller government, and the protection of our personal freedoms. Jon was born and raised in the Flathead Valley where he still resides today. He and his wife Tania have two young children, Jacob (6) and Brett (3).

AFSCME Backs Bullock: “Steve Will Create Jobs and Stand Up for Workers”

1,800 State, County and Municipal Employees Endorse Bullock for Governor

HELENA – The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 9 – and their 59 locals and 1,800 members in Montana along with AFSCME International which represents 1.6 million workers – announced their endorsement and strong support of Steve Bullock’s campaign to be Montana’s next governor.

“Working Montanans need to have a Governor that will stand up and fight for them, create jobs and keep Montana moving in the right direction – Steve Bullock’s that guy,” AFSCME Executive Director Timm Twardoski said.  “Steve not only understands the issues important to the middle class, he’s been a champion for them.”

Bullock will fight cuts to education, job training, Medicaid and Medicare, Twardoski added.

Bullock worked with AFSCME in 2006 when he led the effort to raise Montana’s minimum wage – a campaign that led to 20,000 of Montana’s lowest paid workers to get a $1/hour raise.

Fran Schweigert, an equipment operator from Laurel, said Bullock has stood with workers and will continue to fight for the middle class as Governor.

“Steve shares my values and a has a vision for the future of our state.  As governor, he’ll make sure that the next generation can get a world-class education, a good paying job and be able to raise their kids here, too,” Schweigert said.

AFSCME Locals include Roosevelt County Employees, Wolf Point Hwy. Maintenance, Missoula Highway Maintenance, Billings Highway Maintenance, Miles City Highway Maintenance, Kalispell City, Miles City City Employees, Miles City Law Enforcement Officers, Laurel Police Department, Laurel City Employees, Havre Public Works, Community Hospital LPN’s, Agricultural Experiment Station, Kalispell Highway Maintenance, Granite County Sheriff’s Department, Glendive Highway Maintenance, Glendive City Employees, Glendive Police, MDC Boulder,  Lewistown Highway Maintenance, MCDC Butte, Bozeman Highway Maintenance, Libby School District #4, Havre Highway Maintenance, Dawson County Corrections, Public Defenders Investigators and Staff, Montana State University – Northern, Livingston City, Lake County Detention, Helena School District #1, Anaconda Janitresses, Kalispell School District #5, Whitefish City, Lake County Sheriff Deputies, Lake County 911, Libby City, Flathead 911, Gallatin County Dispatch, Missoula 911, Lake County Solid Waste, Mineral Community Hospital, Flathead County Sheriff Detention, Montana Office of Public Defenders Attorneys, Carbon County, Flathead County Sheriff Deputies Sworn, Missoula County Juvenile Detention, Missoula County Detention Support Staff, Lake County Road and Bridge, Stillwater County, Anaconda LPN’s, Red Lodge Police, Red Lodge Public Works, Troy Area Dispatch and Lake County Courthouse Employees.