Tester fights for affordable healthcare

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tester fights for affordable healthcare

Dear Editor:

Steve Hinebauch recently submitted a letter to the editor where his preamble was an acknowledgement that he and Jon are cousins by marriage. That brings to mind the adage that “God gave us friends to make up for the people we are related to.”

Montanans deserve to have the record set straight. Matt Rosendale is Montana’s state auditor – the only person in the entire state who has the power to approve or push back on health insurance rate hikes. Last year, Rosendale gave average rate hikes of up to 23% the green light, finding them “reasonable,” even though he had the opportunity to negotiate with the insurance companies. Matt Rosendale has also promoted “junk” health care plans that can deny coverage for Montanans with pre-existing conditions. This drives up the premiums for older and sicker people.

Nearly 100,000 Montanans have enrolled in Montana’s Medicaid plan. My work experience with these patients is that the majority are employed full time, but their jobs don’t offer health or dental benefits. Rosendale voted against Montana’s Medicaid plan as a state legislator, and he continues to oppose it. Rosendale’s record is not the record of someone who is working to make health care affordable for Montanans.

By contrast, Senator Tester has always fought to make sure Montana’s working families have access to affordable, quality health care. Jon works hard to make VA benefits more accessible and make sure we deliver on our promises to the nearly 100,000 veterans in our state. Jon is also a champion of Community Health Centers, Healthy Montana Kids as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He just recently delivered more than a million dollars in funding to community health centers across the state, and has relentlessly fought to lower health care costs for Montanans.

My own personal experience as a cancer survivor has made clear the importance of preventative and accessible health care. To deny access to health care based on income is inhumane. I have never felt anger or opposition to my tax dollars being spent on health care. I support candidates with compassion.

And believe Jon Tester best serves all Montanans in that regard.

Jan Martineau

Sidney, Mont.