Tester Fights for the Health of Montana Seniors, Hardworking Families

Senator Votes to Protect Medicare and Medicaid from Devastating Cuts

(U.S. Senate) – As Congressional leaders ready their plan to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them, Senator Jon Tester today stood with hundreds of thousands of Montanans whose health insurance is on the chopping block.

Tester cosponsored an amendment that prohibits any legislation from moving forward if it raises the eligibility age or privatizes Medicare, a critical source of health care for 200,000 Montana seniors. The Senate considered the amendment today as it continues to debate legislation to pave the way to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Tester’s amendment also prevents efforts to block grant Medicaid-critical health insurance for over 226,000 hardworking low-income Montanans.

“In my travels across Montana, folks have been very clear that they do not want Congress taking away their health care,” said Tester. “Seniors are scared that Washington politicians will take away the coverage that they’ve paid into and counted on their whole lives; and hardworking mothers and fathers are terrified that their kids won’t be able to see a doctor. I’m here to tell them that I’ve got their back and will work hard to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, not destroy it.”

Montana residents supported Tester’s actions to protect access to health care for seniors and low income Montanans.

“Medicaid access and expansion has been essential to my family. My children rely upon the Healthy Montana Kids program for their medical and dental care, and Medicaid has given me great peace of mind. With more than one chronic illness leaving me unable to work full time, having affordable access to my doctor and medication is essential. I am heartened by Senator Tester’s dedication to maintaining these programs in our state,” said Sara Habein, Great Falls Resident.

AARP supports efforts to protect Medicare’s guaranteed benefit.

“Our members and other older Americans believe that Medicare must be protected and strengthened for today’s seniors and future generations. The average senior, with an annual income of under $25,000 and already spending one out of every six dollars on health care, counts on Medicare for access to affordable health coverage. We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increase costs, or reduce coverage for older Americans,” said Jo Ann C. Jenkins, AARP CEO.

Tester’s amendment failed in a 49 to 47 vote. It is expected that the Senate will continue debating legislation that paves the way for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act through the end of the week.