Tester touts benefits of new health reform law for students

Senator: Health and student loan reforms a ‘win-win’ for young Montanans

(MISSOULA, Mont.) – Montana’s students will see a healthier and more financially secure future thanks to health and education reforms that became law last week, Senator Jon Tester said today. 

Speaking on the University of Montana campus today, Tester touted the student loan overhaul included in the reform law as a major deficit-reducer that will make college more affordable for students in Montana and across the country.

“Cutting the for-profit middlemen out of student loans means we’re giving taxpayers more bang for their buck—all while making college more affordable,” Tester said.  “These reforms are truly a win-win for young folks in Montana and across the country.”

The student loan reforms that became law last week ended the $61 billion taxpayer subsidies for private banks that offer students loans.  Students instead will get loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education, saving billions of dollars—enough money to cut the federal deficit and to provide a dramatic boost to Pell Grants. 
Tester today also touted the new health care reform law’s benefits directly affecting young Montanans, including:

  • Allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ or guardians’ insurance up to age 26,
  • Stopping insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting medical conditions,
  • And creating exchange markets where self-employed Montanans can find affordable coverage.

Tester has posted information on how health care reform affects Montanans on his website: tester.senate.gov/health.


Q. Why was student financial aid reform included in the new health reform law?

A. Student financial aid reform was not “added” to health care reform as some people believe.  It was always part of the Reconciliation Act of 2010, which passed Congress and was signed into law in March.  The Reconciliation Act featured two separate parts related to the federal budget.  One part improved the recently signed health care reform law.  The other part of the Reconciliation Act—which was required by a resolution—was to find significant savings in federal financial aid by cutting for-profit lenders out of the process.  Because the Reconciliation Act got so much attention during the final days of the health care debate, it led some to mistakenly believe financial aid reform was “added” to the health care bill.


Tester also taught three classes at the University of Montana today: a general music class, a communications class, and a political science class.