Montanans deserve affordable health care

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Editor,

At a time when many Montanans are seeing their healthcare costs rising, we need people representing us who will search for solutions. During his tenure as state insurance commissioner, Matt Rosendale has not done that.

I can speak from personal experience about how critical it is that we protect affordable, accessible health insurance. For 14 years, my husband and I have purchased our own insurance. Pre-ACA we paid high premiums, had a $24,000 annual out of pocket maximum, $1,000,000 lifetime cap, and very little coverage. I am thankful every day for the protections the ACA put in place vs. the “junk” plan we had before.

Four years ago, at age 42, I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. Two rounds of chemo put me in remission and a stem cell transplant saved my life. I shudder to think what would have happened prior to the ACA. I would have hit my lifetime cap, lost coverage, and we would have gone bankrupt.

If this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. Going back to “junk” policies that do not cover pre-existing conditions or much of anything is not going to help Montanans. I know there are problems with the ACA, but they can be fixed with compromise.

Unfortunately, Rosendale has done nothing to lower insurance costs. Last year when health insurance companies proposed rate increases of up to 23%, Rosendale gave those costs the green light. He has also pushed for health insurance plans that don’t require coverage for pre-existing conditions, or if Montanans can get coverage for pre-existing conditions, the rates will be exorbitant.

I can’t support a candidate who has done so little to make good health insurance affordable. I’ll be supporting Jon Tester, who has always worked to find solutions for the Montanans he serves.

Deborah Horning

Billings

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