Sen. Jon Tester discusses ACA repeal impacts on Montana - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Sen. Jon Tester discusses ACA repeal impacts on Montana

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Yesterday, the House passed a budget bill that's step one in repealing ObamaCare. The next step involves committees in both the House and Senate being tasked with writing legislation to directly repeal ObamaCare. 

A process that could take weeks.

Today, Senator Jon Tester met with medical staff and community members at Billings Clinic to hear opinions from others on the matter.

KULR-8 spoke with Senator Jon Tester and he says he's trying to figure out the impacts of the repeal. He adds, these next few weeks are critical for rural hospitals in Montana.

 If there is going to be a replacement, Tester says there needs to be an increase of accessibility and affordability. He says if we do away with Medicade Expansion or the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, that's not a good thing.

Tester says he believes there are plenty of things in the Affordable Healthcare Act we can keep, but the things that are wrong, like premiums and deductibles going up, we can work on.

A physician with Billings Clinic, Kristin Prewitt says she is concerned about the direction this is all going. She says her patients can finally see doctors after 20 years of no insurance because of ACA.

"The main thing I would want to see is a good plan for replacement and keeping what we like and having an opportunity if it's going to go away, to make a step in the right direction to bring in aspects that we didn't have before that could help," Prewitt said.

Tester says Montana is different from New York or Los Angeles, so if we make a plan that works for them, it may not work for us. He adds, if ACA gets replaced, it's going to be important to make sure this state has access to affordable care that isn't 200 miles away.

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