Valley Journal: Tester opposes potential Medicare cuts

Facing the threat of significant Medicare cuts to Montana health providers slated to go into effect Jan. 1, Senator Jon Tester recently voted to protect enhanced Medicare payments through 2022, and issued the following statement:

“Rural hospitals and access to health care are critically important to big and small communities across the state of Montana – they can literally be the difference between life and death for those of us who call rural Montana home. These Medicare cuts that were slated to go into effect without intervention from Congress would have dealt a serious blow to our hospitals’ ability to deliver health care – we simply can’t let this happen. I was proud to vote with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to ensure it didn’t, so our hospitals can continue providing vital services in rural America to the communities that count on it.”

Tester’s vote prevents several Medicare payment cuts from going into effect on Jan.1 including Sequestration, PAYGO, and the COVID-related Physician Fee Schedule Increase.

Among other things, this legislation helps to support physicians and ensure that hospitals have the resources they need to stay open. Also included in the bill is a provision to raise the debt ceiling, preventing the United States government from defaulting on their current debt obligations. Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to support this legislation.

Tester has continued to advocate for Montana’s health care providers through the COVID-19 pandemic, and earlier this month announced over $67 billion in Department of Health and Human Services funding for Montana rural health care providers and suppliers through the American Rescue Plan to help mitigate the high cost of health care caused by the pandemic.