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It’s Tester Time. Where is Senator Tester on Health Care Reform?

Far better sources have already written about the incredibly weak and cynical proposal that Senator Baucus is floating on healthcare (on the slowest news day imaginable), and my position about the Senator has been clear for quite some time. [quote]

What I haven’t written about, though, is Senator Tester, largely because he has been either very quiet or very non-specific about healthcare reform. Looking back on his campaign web page, I am reminded that Senator Tester took a strong stand about the corporate interests who are blocking reform. His issues page notes:

In the U.S. Senate, Jon Tester will stand up to big insurance companies and support a health care plan that makes health care affordable for all Montanans.

While that’s just rhetoric, it’s a promise to fight for something more than Senator Baucus’s proposal, which can best be described as making health care “marginally more affordable for some Montanans and less affordable for others, all at the discretion of your friends in the insurance industry, pending more input from Doctors Grassley and Enzi.”

I’ve been impressed with Senator Tester’s work in Washington. I trust the man, and I admire him. It’s certainly got to be a challenge to be the junior senator under someone with the amount of clout Senator Baucus wields, but Tester has been independent and right more often than not.

It’s time, though, for Senator Tester to demand more from Senator Baucus and the Senate Democrats. It’s time for a definite commitment for a strong public option, for meaningful reform that will bring us closer to affordable care for all Americans.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Dear Senator Tester,
    My husband, Harry Downs, was contacted yesterday when you had an open forum on the telephone concerning the drug companies, but didn’t get a chance to speak.
    I had breast cancer in 2003, and have been on a preventive medicine since then called Femara. I recently hit my “doughnut hole”, and the drug which normally was $28.00 a month, has gone to $377.53!! My knees buckled at that one–last year it “only” went to $280.00!! That’s more than half of my social security check, and a major problem. My blood pressure had spiked, and I’ve very concerned about my general health because of it.
    Any help or suggestions from you would be appreciated. The Pharmacist blamed the drug company Novartis, I believe. Any input you can give will be much appreciated.
    Thank you for your consideration,

    Elizabeth U. Downs
    1915 Lime Kiln Rd.
    Helena, Montana 59601

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