Tester tells Congress that Repealing Health Care Progress Will Have Devastating Impact in Montana

Following eight health care listening sessions in Montana, Senator Jon Tester today outlined the devastating impacts that repealing the Affordable Care Act will have on families across the state. Tester took to the Senate floor and urged members of Congress to work together on a bipartisan effort to increase access to health insurance and lower the cost of health care.

Tester shared personal stories and relayed messages from his recent health care listening session tour across Montana, where he has heard from patients and health care providers who are facing uncertainty because of Congressional plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement health care plan.

“The folks in Congress who are pushing to repeal without a replacement will kick families off of their health insurance, close down rural hospitals and clinics, and add nine trillion dollars to our debt,” Tester said.  “Rather than go down this dangerous path, let’s roll up our sleeves and work on a bipartisan solution that will increase access to insurance, bring down the cost of care, and lower prescription drug prices.”

Tester underscored that repealing the Affordable Care Act could cost Community Health Centers 70 percent of the federal funding they receive to administer care in rural communities, which could force families to travel long distances for regular check-ups or emergency care.  Community Health Centers serve over 100,000 Montanans ever year.

Tester then added that repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement will take patients back to the old health care system that allowed health insurance companies to deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition and kick people off of their health insurance plan after reaching an arbitrary lifetime cap. 

“I am willing to work with anyone – Republican, Democrat, or Independent – who wants to have a serious conversation about improving our nation’s health care system,” Tester added.  “But I won’t allow folks in this body to take us back to the old days—the days where our friends and family couldn’t afford to get sick.”

Tester additionally outlined the impact repealing the Affordable Care Act will have across Montana.

“Here is what that will look like in Montana,” Tester said.  “152,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions will be at risk of losing their health insurance, 61,000 Montanans enrolled in Medicaid will lose coverage, Montana seniors will lose help paying for their prescription drugs, and women will lose important protections that prevent them from being charged more for coverage than men.”

The Senator then highlighted the devastating impacts on the debt and deficit stating that repealing the ACA without a replacement plan will add $350 billion to the deficit over the next ten years.  And the budget resolution that the Senate is debating to pave the way for repeal, will saddle the next generation with an additional $9 trillion in debt over the next decade.

During his health care listening session tour, Tester has visited eight Montana communities, and will continue his tour in the coming weeks.

Montanans who would like to share their personal Affordable Care Act story are able to do so through a portal on Tester’s website.  To date, over 250 Montanans have submitted their personal life-saving story and oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate will vote tonight on a series of votes that if passed, will move forward with a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement health care plan.

You can view Tester’s summary of #WhatsAtRisk for Montanans if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act HERE.


12 Comments on "Tester tells Congress that Repealing Health Care Progress Will Have Devastating Impact in Montana"

  1. Mister DAINES, what are YOU doing to provide We the People adequate healthcare like YOU get as a member of Congress!? Maybe you’ll show some leadership and GIVE up YOUR healthcare plan that We the People provide you and your family?

  2. The agenda to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act is horribly vague. It is what is often referred to as “a glittering generality with a nebulous conclusion.” There is no there, there. It would be very useful if all our elected officials in Congress defined the outcomes of this process they envision and what they will fight for. The upcoming congressional election candidates ought to be prepared to define this, too. There are many, many other issues that officials and candidates need to be clearer on, but this is an issue that has a direct impact on all of us.

  3. What? Define when you can mouth some meaningless abstraction & get the hayseeds to vote against their economic & their interest?

  4. The GOP could simply sit back and watch Obamacare crash and burn.

    It’s already on life support as exchanges, insurers and Doctors are bailing out of it.

    Here’s a list of failed Coops:

    Cooportunity Health – Iowa and Nebraska
    Cost: $145,312,100

    Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc.
    Cost: $65,790,660

    Nevada Health Cooperative
    Cost: $65,925,396

    Health Republic Insurance of New York
    Cost: $265,133,000

    Kentucky Health Care Cooperative – Kentucky and West Virginia
    Cost: $146,494,772

    Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Company – Tennessee
    Cost: $73,306,700

    Colorado HealthOp
    Cost: $72,335,129

    Health Republic Insurance of Oregon
    Cost: $60,648,505

    Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company – South Carolina
    Cost: $87,578,208

    Arches Mutual Insurance Company – Utah
    Cost: $89,650,303

    Meritus Health Partners – Arizona
    Cost: $93,313,233

    Consumers Mutual Insurance – Michigan
    Cost: $71,534,300

    InHealth Mutual – Ohio
    Cost: $129,225,604

    HealthyCT – Connecticut
    Cost: $127,980,768

    Oregon Health’s CO-OP – Oregon
    Cost: $56,656,900

    Land of Lincoln Health – Illinois
    Cost: $160,154,812

    Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey
    Cost: $109,074,550

    TOTAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS: $1,820,114,940

    It is painfully clear, that if you believe Obamacare is a permanent, viable entitlement, that you are wrong, and that you were lied to.

    Your family cost didn’t go down by $2500 per year, if you liked your Doctor you were not able to keep him, if you liked your company plan you were no able to keep it because Obamacare dictated to them what they required.

    But have faith – with the Donald in DC the mess will be cleaned up.

    • “But have faith – with the Donald in DC the mess will be cleaned up.”


    • Youre right- Montana voted for Donald Trump and the repeal of Obamacare so I have no problem with slashing healthcare across the state-thats what the voters wanted. However, the above health care organizations failed because Obamacare didnt reign in the overinflated costs of pharmaceuticals. Until the people in goverment (Tester refused to support Klobuchar’s Canadian bill and Baucus gave drug companies everything they wanted) deals with the greed of prescription drug companies and large corporate health care organizations, our health care system in the US is doomed.

      • Old Line Democrat | February 27, 2017 9:16 AM at 9:16 AM |

        Yes, the real problem is that no one can give any true explanation for the rampant increases in the cost of health care. The providers have found that they can continue to expand and create billing “profit centers” to hide their greed and profiteering. It just shows that we need a single payer system and a change in the money politics we are engaged in now. The only way to do so is to get people elected and change the what people think about these issues.

        Obamacare was the result of President Obama and the Dem’s naïve thought that the Repubs would like their own plan. Remember Romneycare?

        We got handed our lunch by creating the Republicans plan for them hoping they would work to fix the problems. That’s not the way these guys play. That’s why we now have Trump.

  5. Eric, it is an irrefutable fact that the republican party never ever lifted a finger to help the ACA function better. Listing the roadblocks that the Republican party inserted into the bill in a false proclamation that they might support the effort in the end would make your little list seem miniscule.
    Your glee is misplaced and inhumane. The republican party is directly responsible for all of the failures you list, and as such cannot be trusted to be an honest broker in crafting a national healthcare plan. Blow up the ACA if you can, but do not pretend that you have any alternative that will function as well as the ACA has, despite all the Republican poison injected into it.

  6. Well tfs1150, not only did the GOP not lift a finger to save it, but they were locked out of the room when it was being written, and it is so bad not a single GOP Senator or Representative voted for it. It belongs 100% to the Dems.

    Blow it up? It’s on life support already. If you want somebody to blame, call Jon Tester. He could have stopped it, because he cast the deciding vote. I’m still surprised he survived tha last election with that on his resume.

    • Eric, Once again you prove that you receive your news from UNINFORMEDbecauseitgivesmeanexcuusetobeanidiot.com. The GOP had many opportunities to put their two cents in and they did. Trump supporters talk about liberals being snowflakes yet you cry like a baby because you did not get everything you wanted in your health care plan. If the Republicans would have worked with Obama as he offered many times, the ACA could have been a good solution for everyone and it has been for many. The GOP will gladly give away our taxpayers money to corporations in order that the CEOs of those corporations can continue to rake in 10 million a year salaries but can’t find a shred of decency to help ensure that all Americans have decent health care while you whine because you didn’t get to see your favorite proctologist. On top of that the tax breaks to corporations that the average joe has to make up for doesn’t produce the jobs or at least jobs that pay a decent wage like the SO CALLED representatives in DC claim the tax breaks are supposed to produce. I have no sympathy for your whining and complaining especially when you are damn lucky that the ACA was in place long enough to support many rural hospitals in Montana and it is very likely that you or someone in your family has benefited from the ACA even if you have your own corporate plan or none at all. I have no doubt that there are plenty of Montana Trump supporters who have purchased ACA plans or are on the expanded Medicaid plans but would never admit it to their fellow cult members. I can’t wait until you or your family members suffer from not having any health insurance because you deserve it for not having an ounce of compassion for people who didn’t have insurance before Obamacare. You think Obamacare is a terrible plan, wait until you see what Ryan and McConnell have in store for you and your fellow whiners. How quickly people forgot what inspired Obamacare in the first place – outrageous premiums with ridiculous co pays, lifetime caps, and exclusions. Those not insured will go back to using the ER for primary care and people will be sicker and less productive. Millions of jobs were created by Obamacare which will be lost. Yep the GOP the party of fiscal conservatism – bull crap – its the party of maintaining the wealthy status quo and an excuse to be a bigot, racist, and misogynist. There is no denying that anymore.

    • This just isn’t true Eric C. Republicans were half of the committee writing ACA. Grassley, Enzi and Snowe were all in the room with Baucus and co, and they were active participants. In fact many of the key compromises to the old republican framework originally ruled out in the mid 90s during the first rounds of Hillary Hysteria was this plan. So the republicans were active participants up until Mitch McConnell reportedly told them that if they planned to continue being Senators in his party they had to change their tune – and that’s exactly were Grassley especially pretended all of the stuff he wrote into it were now the equivalent of death panels.

      And how did the republicans not know what was being written into the bill if their staffs continued to be in the meetings, and it was available on line at regular intervals (hint: that how they started pretending there were death panels in it…remember), and each side was equally part of the markup process where dems and rep review the versions of the bill to reconcile them…

      So Eric – are you telling us that your republican representatives just ignored their many chances to read and comment on the bill throughout it’s development – AND THEN pretended because they chose not to participate that they were LOCKED OUT? Or were they just too lazy to read it – and figured they were going to hate it either way – and guys like you would believe them whether they told the truth or not? Even better – if all of those republicans and their staffs didn’t read it – why were they offering up amendments to it. How does that make sense….?

  7. Eric C, it is also fact that we have had the affordable care act during republican controlled Senate’s and house chambers. Those legislative bodies did next to nothing to help make the legislation better, instead insisting over countless votes on repealing the entire package. There is no doubt that was because President Obama was not to have a successful health care plan as part of his legacy. Politics tRump quality health care for the citizens of this country. Plain and simple.

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