Affordable Care Act

Recent Posts

Opinion: Senators, be careful with replacing ACA


In the fall of 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the bladder. At that time my partner worked full time as a teacher in public schools. I was under-employed (an adjunct instructor) at two institutions and had a third job when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had no access to employer-provided insurance at that time because of my part-time designation at each place. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Answers needed on Tester’s prescription-drug vote


A public servant’s worth is directly proportional to his willingness to seek advice from his constituents. On this score, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester earns high marks for his visit to Billings on a frigid Saturday morning to learn about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect Montanans. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke could take a lesson from Tester.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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Only thing worse than Obamacare is … what?


The most important issue before Montana legislators this session isn’t really even on the agenda. And it’s not their fault.

The fate of health insurance for millions of Americans, and for tens of thousands of Montanans, rests in the hands of a Congress dominated by Republicans, who have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as one of their first items of business when Donald Trump takes over as president. The GOP also has vowed to replace Obamacare, but that could take years. In the meantime, uncertainty could damage or even destroy insurance companies, and millions of people could lose insurance. This has left Montana lawmakers in a quandary. Continue Reading →

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Tester seeks input on Obamacare

Has the Affordable Care Act made your life better? If so, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wants to know. Tester has set up a website to gather input from Montanans about what the ACA, better known as Obamacare, has done for them. The goal is to thwart plans by Republicans to repeal the law once Donald Trump takes office as president. “I know our healthcare system isn’t perfect,” Tester said in a news release. Continue Reading →

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Opinion: A fix for the individual health care market


The Problem: Because of adverse selection and pent-up demand, health insurance premiums are unaffordable and benefits have been reduced to catastrophic care. People will stop purchasing health insurance and pay the tax penalty. This will further limit and skew the risk pool adversely, further driving up premiums. Premiums have risen in large part because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions—a very popular requirement of the Affordable Care Act. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Obamacare update: the good, bad and ugly

steve daines

I got a “Dear David” email from U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., on Friday that began, “I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news … .”

Actually, it sounded like he was delighted to be the bearer of bad news. Proposed healthcare premiums under Obamacare are soaring next year, the email said, proving once again that “Obamacare is failing Montanans,” and allowing him to echo what has been a Republican mantra ever since the bill passed. Unfortunately, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wasn’t much more helpful. In a statement on Friday, he said, “It is outrageous that a major corporation is trying to raise insurance rates on Montanans as they hand out lavish bonuses to their executives.”

Neither senator wastes the precious time of his constituents by delving into the actual facts. A quick check of the website of the state insurance commissioner, Monica Lindeen, bore out the bad news. Continue Reading →

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David Crisp: Mending government starts here


Ten years after he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Jon Tester, D-Mont., still continues to farm near his home in Big Sandy. It isn’t about the money. “One of the reasons I still farm is because I go home and can get things done,” Tester said during a telephone town hall last week. In Washington, D.C., not so much. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Harlowton ‘navigator’ takes the scare out of Obamacare

Tina Barnhart

HARLOWTON — Tina Barnhart has learned a few important lessons about helping people sign up for subsidized private health insurance. The trick is to be specific about insurance plans, and how much they cost, thanks to the federal subsidies. Just don’t mention Obamacare, or even refer to it by its less familiar but official title, the Affordable Care Act. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Max Baucus: A long career, a long goodbye

You hate to kick a guy while he’s up, but is anyone else weary of the relentlessly laudatory news stories about former Sen. Max Baucus? After Baucus was nominated and then won confirmation as the new U.S. ambassador to China, it was inevitable that barrels of ink would be spilled to chronicle his 39-year run as a House member and senator. (more…) Continue Reading →

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