Tester releases third Health Care Homefront e-mail

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester tonight released the third installment of Health Care Homefront—a series of brief e-mails profiling Montanans affected by “America’s broken health care system.”

Each day this week, Tester is sending his e-mail subscribers a new story about Montanans who have recently written to Tester about the need for health care reform.  The profiles will explain how the health care reform legislation now being debated by the U.S. Senate will benefit Montanans in similar situations.

The text of the today’s Health Care Homefront e-mail appears below.


“I wasn’t ready to check out”

NAME: Mindy Renfro
HOME: Missoula

Mindy Renfro’s experience with the health insurance industry prompted her to go back to school for a degree in public policy so she can “help change the system.”

Mindy got breast cancer not just once.  Not just twice.  Not just three times.  She is the victim of four different breast cancers.   She had health insurance when the cancer struck.

The first two times, Mindy’s insurance paid for her treatment.  The third time, her insurance company called her and said, “We’re sorry, but none of it will be paid for.”

The underwriters, she says, determined her chances of survival were just too low.  So instead, they offered to send a hospice nurse.

Mindy was “a young, vital, working, early 40s, single mom” who “wasn’t ready to check out.”  So she asked about her options.

“I was told if I wanted to start chemotherapy I would have to come up with over $100,000—cash—to start the treatment.  And my only option was to sell my home.”

So she did.  She got the treatment she needed to stay alive.  But after many years of trying to repay that debt, Mindy recently declared bankruptcy.


First and foremost, the Senate’s health care reform bill holds insurance companies accountable so they can’t drop you if and when you get sick—no matter how many times you get sick.  It forbids insurance companies from denying you coverage for a pre-existing condition.  Under our bill, no one will be forced to sell their home and declare bankruptcy to pay for the treatment they need to stay alive.  That’s just common sense.

If you have any stories you’d like to share about the need for health care reform, or if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call Senator Tester toll-free at (866) 554-4403.  You can also drop him a note online.

Other Montanans you should meet: