Tester: If They Won't Protect Montanans, Then We Will

Senator Introduces Legislation to Defend Against Judicial Attacks on Health Care System

(U.S. Senate) – Less than a month after an activist judge threatened to rip health care away from millions of Americans, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is fighting to make sure Montanans continue to have access to health insurance.

“A bunch of unelected bureaucrats have decided to rewrite the law of the land and threaten the health and safety of thousands of Montanans,” Tester said. “If they won’t protect Montanans, then we will.”

Last June, the Department of Justice announced it would stop defending the law that prohibits insurance companies from withholding health care coverage or charging people absurd rates because of preexisting conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, acne, and even pregnancy. In December, a Texas judge ruled that these protections-along with the rest of the Affordable Care Act-were unconstitutional.

The decision puts many critical parts of the American health care system at risk, including mandatory coverage of essential health benefits, a prohibition on lifetime caps, and the guarantee that children can stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. That’s why Tester has helped introduce legislation to allow the Senate to defend these protections in court.

Tester’s legislation, which he also helped introduce last Congress, would authorize Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the lawsuit and defend the hundreds of thousands of Montanans who rely the Affordable Care Act to access insurance.

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.