As the Trump Administration Tries to Rip Health Care from Millions, Tester Works to Protect Montanans

enator and colleagues pressure Administration officials to conduct in-depth report on consequences of ACA repeal

In response to the Trump Administration’s full backing of a court ruling that would effectively scrap the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) critical patient protections, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is joining his colleagues to demand a full report on the impacts of stripping health care from millions of Americans with preexisting conditions who rely on the program for coverage.

Tester and his colleagues penned a letter requesting Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin conduct a comprehensive review on the consequences of dismantling the ACA and assess the impacts of overturning the law on the federal, state, and local levels. The report would also include the number of individuals in each state that would lose their coverage and protections provided by the law, including more than 152,000 Montanans with pre-existing conditions.

“Upending the current health care system will create an enormous hole in the pocketbooks of the people we serve as well as wreck state budgets,” Tester wrote. “Therefore, we ask for data to help states and Congress better understand the potential consequences of the position the Administration is taking in court.”

In March, the Trump Administration went against Congressional intent by issuing a statement endorsing a judge’s ruling in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. The decision deemed the individual mandate provision of the ACA unconstitutional thus striking down the health care law entirely. Tester called for President Trump to rescind the endorsement on the Senate floor, and blasted the Administration for its decision to back the ruling. In July, a New Orleans federal appeals court started hearing oral arguments in the case.

If upheld, the ruling risks critical aspects of the American health care system, including mandatory coverage of essential health benefits, a prohibition on lifetime and annual caps of coverage, prescription drug coverage for millions of seniors due to the re-opening of the Medicare “donut hole,” and the guarantee that children can stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.

Read the full text of Tester’s letter HERE.

Read more about Tester’s efforts to protect Montanans with pre-existing conditions HERE.