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Senator: Montanans need real, affordable health care

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News from the office of Senator Jon Tester

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Tester is taking on the Trump administration over a plan that could expand junk insurance in Montana.

In a scathing letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Administrator Seema Verma, Tester demanded CMS reconsider its effort to waive safeguards established by the Affordable Care Act, which would allow states to expand short-term junk health insurance plans that don’t cover basic medical treatments.

“In addition to discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, junk insurance can refuse to cover basic services like prescription drugs, maternity care, substance abuse treatment, or mental health care,” Tester wrote. “This insurance could leave Montanans high and dry when they need coverage the most.”

Tester expressed concern that CMS’s proposal would raise costs and jeopardize access to health coverage for millions of Americans, including the 152,00 Montanans, who have pre-existing conditions like asthma, cancer, and diabetes.

“You have already undermined these vital protections by promoting junk insurance like short-term plans, which do not have to meet requirements for pre-existing conditions protections,” Tester wrote. “The proposals you have advanced in recent weeks double down on pushing junk insurance by allowing taxpayer dollars to fund these plans, when what Montanans need is real, affordable coverage.”

 Tester demanded the administration work with Congress to lower the cost of health care and protect coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions.

 Tester has sponsored legislation to protect Montanans with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage by health insurance companies.


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