Tester releases video with final Health Care Homefront e-mail

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today released a YouTube video with the final e-mail in this week’s Health Care Homefront series.

Each day this week, Tester sent his e-mail subscribers real stories about Montanans who have recently written about the need for health care reform.

The profiles explain how the health care reform legislation now being debated by the U.S. Senate will benefit Montanans in similar situations.

The video, available online HERE, features Pat Dejong of Libby and Mindy Renfro of Missoula.  Renfro was profiled in Wednesday’s Health Care Homefront e-mail.

Here are the Montanans profiled in Health Care Homefront:

The text of today’s Health Care Homefront appears below.


“Selling the ranch broke his spirit”

NAME: Patricia Dejong
HOME: Libby

Pat Dejong is a home health worker in Libby.  She and her late husband Dan used to own a 500-acre cattle ranch in northwest Montana.  The ranch had been in their family for four generations.

Pat and Dan were never able to afford health insurance.  Then Dan was diagnosed with cancer.  To pay the bills, they made the painful decision to sell their ranch.

Here is what Pat recently wrote about that experience:

“The cancer ravaged Dan’s body.  But selling our ranch to pay for medical costs broke his spirit.  It was the place of his youth and our children’s youth.  The medical bills were paid, but Dan died paying those bills with no land to pass on to his family.”

Dan Dejong lost his battle with cancer four years ago.  Pat still cannot afford health insurance.  She says “farmers, ranchers and everyone in rural Montana needs reform.”

“Montanans, rural and urban alike, need choices, not just the lesser of two economic evils—insurance that they cannot afford or no insurance at all.  And private insurance companies need the accountability that comes with competition.”

I’ve heard many other stories like these from folks in Montana.  And I won’t stand for them.  That’s why I support this health care reform bill.


Under this health care reform bill, getting sick won’t force people like Pat and Dan Dejong to sell the land that has been in their family for generations.  That’s because it limits the amount of money you would have to pay out of pocket.  No more than $5,950 for medical care—or less depending on how much you earn—no matter what.

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.