Stone Kicks off Campaign
Puts Healthcare Front and Center
July 24, 2019
Under a big tent, shielded from the sun at the Fort Peck Marina, Joyce Stone kicked off her Republican primary campaign for Montana House District 33. Stone is seeking the seat currently held by Casey Knudsen (R), of Malta, who ran unopposed in 2018.
New on the political scene, Stone offers voters a reasonable voice who will listen to her constituents, telling the crowd, “I want to know what people want.” Demonstrating that commitment, she spent the majority of her time visiting with supporters and curious voters, eager to learn more while Mike Nash of the Southern Drawl Band, in town for the Warriors on the Water event, generously donated his time and talent to provide a musical backdrop to the event.
Many in the Glasgow area know her as a nurse at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, where she is also a certified emergency room nurse. She came to Glasgow 12 years ago from Billings, where she had landed after deciding to move to as many new locations as she could, anxious to explore and try new things. “I met and fell in love with Ryan [Stone, her spouse],” she said of her move to Glasgow.
On her decision to run for public office, Stone gave a simple, heartfelt reason, “This community has done so much for me. I want to give back. That’s it. That’s the gist of the campaign.” Though there is much more to it than that. Healthcare and insurance promise to be high priorities for a large swath of voters. Stone brings both a professional and personal perspective, as a nurse and a cancer survivor.
While she did not directly address the voting history of her opponent, Knudsen, who opposed Medicaid expansion this past legislative session, at the event she did invite David Alstedt, a beneficiary of the Medicaid program, to answer questions about his experience. “I’m an example of how the system works,” he said.
Going through his history of work and insurance, and not being covered due to his injury being deemed a pre-existing condition and ineligible for workers’ compensation, Alstedt told how he took a year off to recover and heal, yet still had to work where and when he could, which in turn aggravated his condition. The situation reached a point where he was essentially unable to use his right arm. During that time while not working full time, he qualified for Medicaid, which covered his MRIs, x-rays, shots, painkillers, surgery and follow-up. “I’m super grateful,” he said. “If not for that, if the program wasn’t there, I don’t know where I’d be.”
The program offered Alstedt more than the physical recovery. The surgery led to a whole quality-of-life improvement. Almost completely healed, he is now back to work, an example of how the Medicaid program is designed to help those in times of need and allow them to get back on their feet. “That’s why I’m here. To answer questions about it and support Joyce,” he concluded.
Stone will be hitting the campaign trail, from Highway 24 North to west of Havre, in the upcoming months seeking input and listening to the concerns of voters. Questions about the campaign and upcoming events should be directed to Joyce Stone, 406-228-8665 or [email protected]