RELEASE: Tester Pushes for Bipartisan, Deficit-Reducing Legislation to Cut Health Care Costs


October 26, 2017

Marneé Banks | 202.604.5521

Dave Kuntz | 202.224.8544

Luke Jackson | 406.702.5484

Tester Pushes for Bipartisan, Deficit-Reducing Legislation to Cut Health Care Costs

Senator Defends Montanans from Rising Health Care Costs

(U.S. Senate)– U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding the Senate take up the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act to lower health care costs for hardworking Montana families.

The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act crafted by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will ensure that crucial cost-sharing reduction payments will continue to be made. Earlier this month, the Trump Administration cancelled those payments, causing two Montana insurance companies to raise their rates by double digits.

“Congress needs to stop playing politics with health care and provide relief for hardworking families who are getting hit with premiums and deductibles that are too high,” Tester said. “This bipartisan legislation will lower health care costs and reduce the deficit—it’s a no brainer.”

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act would reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion over ten years. Tester called on his colleagues to push this legislation to the Senate floor for a vote.

“In my numerous face-to-face meetings with Montanans about health care, they have told me time and again that they want us to put aside political differences and lower health care costs,” Tester wrote in a letter to Senate Leadership. “They deserve no less, and I look forward to working with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”

Tester’s letter can be found HERE.

In the last year, Tester has held over a dozen in-person public health care town halls.

Tester has sponsored numerous bills that will lower costs and increase access to health care:

· Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act
A bill to create a new permanent reinsurance program to help cover the claims of the sickest enrollees in the Marketplace.

· Marketplace Certainty Act
A bill to ensure the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stabilizes health insurance markets by making cost-sharing reduction payments.

A bill to force drug companies to publicly report detailed information when they raise the price of their drugs.

A bill to ensure Montana gets its fair share of Medicaid expansion funding.

· Restoring Rural Residencies Act
A bill to allow Medicare to reimburse residency programs for the time residents spend at Critical Access Hospitals.

· Addressing Affordability for More Americans Act
A bill to provide premium tax credits to working Montanans, who make too much money to qualify for existing tax credits, but still can’t afford health insurance.



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