MTN News: Tester concerned GOP stimulus plan doesn't provide enough help to healthcare

Montana Senator Jon Tester feels there are a lot of shortcomings in the latest economic stimulus bill that was forwarded by the GOP this week.

But he believes the largest problem may be in the lack of additional funding to support healthcare during the continuing pandemic.

Tester says the bill which was released by the Republican’s Senate leadership Tuesday runs to more than 700 pages.

Yet he says the package doesn’t do enough for many key challenges, such as providing money to help individuals, businesses and local governments weather the economic storm.

But perhaps more than anything else, the Big Sandy Democrat feels the proposals are “woefully short” when it comes to assisting healthcare.

“And we don’t get this economy under control until we get the healthcare, COVID-19, fixed,” said Tester. “And I’m telling you that if we don’t put that as the number one priority in any COVID package that comes forward, we’re making a big mistake as policymakers. We all want to see the economy get going. But unless we get COVID-19, unless we get our arms around that, it’s never gonna happen.”

Tester suspects there will have to be a third stimulus bill later this fall and says the U-S will be “behind the arc” unless it can provide funding for things like the development of vaccines, more equipment for medical professionals, and faster coronavirus test results.

Negotiations on the GOP plan hit an impasse on Wednesday, leaving the entire proposal in limbo.