we launched our First political ad contest with audience awards!

$3,000 in Prize Money Goes to the Winning Producers of Ads That Effectively Hold U.S. Senator Steve Daines Accountable For His Voting Record on Access to Affordable, High-Quality Healthcare.

Our first political ad contest is challenging film-makers and all people interested in participating to produce a 30-second political advertisement focused on the voting record of U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), specifically regarding access to high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Montanans and U.S. Citizens.   

A $1,500.00 first prize, $1,000.00 second prize, and $500 Honorable Mention will go to the winning advertisements submitted on-line according to the terms of the contest.  

Tired of losing political campaigns to politicians who are only out for themselves, their corporate donors and their political party? Now is your chance to take a stand!

We’re sponsoring a political healthcare ad contest to allow you to take action. Filmmakers, this is your opportunity to effect change and influence the 2020 vote. Create an ad and OpenSourceMT will help get your message out statewide!

CALL TO ACTION: Watch the video below for more information on why we launched this competition. Then submit a 30-second healthcare advertisement that holds U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) accountable for his policy positions on issues of importance.  

Your submissions should have Montana flair (characters/story/landscape/activities) and must address one of these three issues:

  • Access to high-quality, affordable healthcare

  • The high cost of prescription drugs

  • The voting record of Senator Daines

opensource competition background information:  

U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Healthcare Policy

OpenSourceMT recently launched a competition to help inform Montanans of the extreme policy positions of Montana's junior U.S. Senator, Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who is running for re-election in the 2020 election cycle.  The first of these OpenSourceMT contests challenges participants to produce a political campaign ad of their own, holding Sen. Daines accountable for his positions regarding healthcare policy.

This purpose of this “Backgrounder” is to put credible, non-partisan facts in the hands of participants in this OpenSourceMT political ad competition.  The facts and references provided in this Backgrounder represent credible, reliable information that may be useful to people participating in the competition.  There are no requirements in the competition to use any of the information provided, BUT ALL INFORMATION YOU USE SHOULD BE ACCURATE AND VERIFIABLE.

Senator Steve Daines and Healthcare Policy

In the current 116th U.S. Congress, U.S. Senator Daines now sits on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in the 116th U.S. Congress, This gives him a position of much greater influence in healthcare policy going forward than he had in the past.

Recently, Sen. Daines failed to denounce the Trump Administration’s 2020 Budget, which calls for a $845 billion cut in Medicare over 10 years, more than a trillion dollar cut from Medicaid, and another $84 billion cut in disability benefits from Social Security.    

Daines on “Obamacare”

Throughout his time in the U.S. Congress, the core of Senator Steve Daines’s healthcare policy was his consistent advocacy and votes against the Affordable Care Act and the Patient Protection Act of 2010 - otherwise known as “Obamacare”.  Senator Daines is a vocal advocate to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” although there is no clear indication of what healthcare policy he would advocate other than the current law that allows insurance companies to refuse coverage to people (such as for preexisting conditions), as was the case before Obamacare.  

At every threshold, committee hearing or vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate -- representing Montanans -- Senator Daines has fought to “kill” Obamacare.

It may be most fair to allow Senator Daines explain his position himself.  Here is a November 14, 2015 video promoted by the Office of U.S. Senator Steve Daines, in which he calls the Affordable Care Act and the Patient Protection Act an “embarrassment.”  

And again in the June 14, 2014 U.S. Senate campaign debate in Butte:

Here is a non-partisan accounting of Senator Daines voting record on healthcare policy

Daines and His Political Support from Drug, Insurance and Corporations

Please use OpenSecrets.org to learn for yourself about the political campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists, wealthy donors and political action committees representing the drug companies, insurance companies and corporate interests fighting against the interests of Montanans.  Please notice the donations from drug company lobbyists from Amgen and Novo Nordisk and nearly $500,000 from Political Action Committees, including Koch Industries, in 2018 alone.

Daines and His “Flip Flop” on Funding for Community Health Centers

In February 2018, Senator Daines stood with colleagues at a press conference in Washington, D.C., touting the importance of funding for Community Health Centers and the access to healthcare services these facilities and medical professionals provide throughout Montana.  

In a “tweet” that day, Senator Daines wrote (sic): For the thousands of Montanans that rely on community health centers for health care, it is vital we fund the 17 centers throughout the state.  

Then, Senator Daines voted against the budget legislation that provided funding for Community Health Centers.  Daines claimed his vote was a protest vote against the budget deal at the time, which expanded the amount of federal debt.  If that is the case, then why did he fail to offer an explanation regarding his support for the $20 billion tax loophole and cut legislation from the Trump Administration that has dramatically caused federal debt to skyrocket in recent years.  

Background on “Obamacare”

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act and the Patient Protection Act, or “Obamacare”, became the healthcare law of the land in the US.  These laws achieved a number of important advances in access to healthcare in the US, including:

* Eliminating the power of health insurance companies to refuse healthcare coverage to individuals with "pre-existing conditions," such as asthma, arthritis, pregnancy, cancer and other illnesses and/or medical conditions.  

* Expanding access to healthcare coverage for working families who were otherwise not able to afford or gain access through an employer.  This is achieved by expanding their access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the online ACA Marketplace.

* Decrease the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and prescription drugs by engaging hospitals, drug companies, medical device companies and others in programs designed to help improve efficiency in health care delivery, increase price transparency, provide incentives for lowering of drugs and medical devices, eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and increase the influence of wellness programs.  

While its implementation has not been perfect, improvements in the Affordable Care Act continue to make the law more effective in achieving its goals and becoming more efficient.  As efforts to politicize the Affordable Care Act have backfired in recent years, the actual benefits of people having access to healthcare and not allowing health insurance companies to refuse care to Americans has made a significant and lasting advance in reducing medical bankruptcies and preventing serious medical crisis through the expansion of primary and preventative care.  

For a summary of the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, please consider this non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation report.

More than 22% of Montanans Have Affordable, High-Quality Healthcare Due to the ACA's Expansion of Medicaid and the Healthy Montana Kids Program

Following the enactment of  the Affordable Care Act of 2010, more than 22% of Montanans access affordable, high-quality healthcare through the expansion of Medicaid and the Children's Healthcare Insurance Program (CHIP), known as Healthy Montana Kids in Montana.  This non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation report provides more detail.

Senator Daines has voted consistently to eliminate -- or “repeal” the ACA, offering no alternative plan that will provide access to healthcare coverage for the people who rely on the ACA, including the 22% of Montanans who rely on Medicaid expansion and the Healthy Montana Kids Program.

OSMT Board Member Susan Carstensen on the Growing Role of Women in Montana’s Tech Industry.

As the tech industry grows in Montana, are women growing with it?

By Abby Lynes ● Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

Susan Carstensen Montana tech industry

A longtime veteran of Bozeman’s tech world, Susan Carstensen, said the business climate for women in Montana doesn’t look like it did when she first started.

“The difference between 1995 and today, I think, is pretty dramatic,” she said.

Carstensen worked for RightNow Technologies, now Oracle, as a chief operating officer, chief financial officer and senior vice president of customer experience. She serves on numerous organizations’ boards and now does consulting for up-and-coming tech companies at Yellowstone Growth Partners, and she said she and others have worked hard to bring more women to the table.

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