GOP healthcare bill raises concern in Billings

Democratic Senator Jon Tester held a press conference Friday in Billings to discuss the potential impact of the most recent Senate healthcare bill on the Billings community. The senator spoke out today following Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's delay of the vote on the GOP's health care bill.

Tester's main focus was the impact the Senate healthcare bill would have in Billings. He spoke about the impact Medicaid has had on the people of Montana. Tester said hospitals such as Billings Clinic, which is the biggest medical facility in the state, will have difficulty if the bill passes.

     Barbara Schneeman is a cancer survivor and says if the vote is in favor of the bill, those with pre-existing conditions and those who are used to getting preventative health services may not find themselves getting the preventative services anymore.

"It was important for me to recognize that there are 52 million Americans who are non-elderly adults between the ages of 18 and 64 that have a preexisting condition," Schneeman said. "Should the Senate bill pass, those individuals may not be able to find health insurance that would be affordable or cover all the needs that they have."

 Earlier this week, KULR 8 listened in on both senators Tester and Steve Daines' town halls. Both senators had thousands of participants. Democrats and Republicans are at odds with one another and it's the people making noise. Many people on both sides of the isle are concerned where Obama Care is heading and the direction the Senate GOP is taking with their healthcare bill.

"I'm very concerned about what's gonna happen to rural hospitals who depend so greatly on Medicaid dollars and, also, what happens to people that are between the ages of 50 and 64?" said one concerned citizen at Steve Daines' town hall meeting.

"My concern is the economic disparity and problems that the whole Obama Care system has got on our economy and our nation," another citizen said.

Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are at odds with their views of the healthcare bill.

"It puts preexisting conditions at risk, which is a huge problem because so many of us, including myself, and many of my family members and you and your family members probably have a preexisting condition," Tester said.

"The current Senate Bill that has been posted does not change the provision of the current law which says no insurance company can charge you more if you have a pre existing condition and no insurance company can deny you insurance coverage," Daines said.

"I think there is some opportunity to work together. I say that because I've talked to many republicans, just kind of off the grid, and I think there could be common ground found," Tester said.

It's important to note the bill is not finalized. Senator McConnell said he wants to change the bill to get a better CBO score. The Senate hopes to present a new bill after the July 4th recess.

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