Tester Protects the 152,000 Montanans with Preexisting Conditions

Senator: “If the Justice Department Won’t Defend the Law Then We Will”

(U.S. Senate) – After the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would stop defending the law that protects Americans with preexisting conditions, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is fighting to make sure Montanans continue to have access to affordable health insurance.

“Montanans and Americans are again under attack by politicians who want to allow insurers to deny folks coverage simply for having preexisting conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes,” Tester said. “Congress must quit playing politics with health care and take a vote to defend the millions of people who are now at risk of losing their coverage.”

More than 152,000 Montanans have at least one preexisting condition. Prior to the passage of health care reform, insurance companies were allowed to charge absurd premiums or outright deny health insurance to anyone with a preexisting condition like diabetes, asthma, or even pregnancy. Now, thanks to Tester’s efforts to pass and protect health care reform, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage or charge more because of a preexisting condition.

But, instead of upholding these vital protections, the Department of Justice announced last month that it would stop defending the law of the land and side with a group of states challenging health care reform in court. That’s why Tester has introduced a Senate resolution that would authorize Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the lawsuit and defend protections for people with preexisting conditions.

“If they won’t defend the law then we will,” Tester said. “Montanans are paying way too much for health care. Washington needs to stop attacking the health and wellbeing of families and instead work to lower health insurance premiums.”

In addition to the resolution, Tester has introduced a number of bills to protect Montanans with preexisting conditions, expand access to health care, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.

The full resolution is available HERE.