A recent Vox interview profiled Democrat lawmaker’s plans, or lack of them, to fix our broken healthcare system. Answers ranged from borrowed Republican talking points about high deductible plans to “doing something” to even outright denial that Obamacare has failed. But for Montana voters, the big takeaway was Jon Tester’s not-so-suprising admission that he doesn’t have any ideas of how to “fix” Obamacare, even though he’s been using the “fix obamacare” spin to jab political opponents.
Here’s the full exchange:
There’s about 2 million people in the exchange … who aren’t so rich that they don’t care and don’t get paid the subsidies and the deductibles are too high.
If we focus on that group, and get some doctors and some hospital administrators and some patient groups and some good-thinking senators, we can come up with some solutions.
What would those policies be?
I don’t know yet. But the truth is, we fixed it so we’re the only country in the world with a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage. It’s apples and doughnuts, but the truth is we can do that if we get the people in the room, brainstorm some ideas, and walk in there with an open mind.”
Yet, at the same time Tester has made the press rounds recently calling on his colleagues to “work together and fix what is wrong with the ACA”.
What gives? This is the same guy who recently penned an Op Ed in the Bozeman Chronicle about the healthcare debate saying “throw in the towel on partisan bickering, and start fighting for what really matters.” But the only real position Tester has been “fighting for” has been “let’s get together and talk”. This is a time of crisis for healthcare and the nation needs leaders who will act, not “talk” and get nothing done. Montanans deserve better representation.
In the absence of specific policies or ideas, it’s clear that either the Senator needs more time to find the politically expedient choice or he absolutely does not want to in any way tweak Obamacare, the bill he was instrumental in passing. In fact, Tom Lutey at the Billings Gazette accurately points out that “Tester has advocated for the Affordable Care Act through in-person town hall meetings more in the last six months than he did in the year before the bill became law.” Defending the failed law more doesn’t seem like the behavior of someone committed to coming up with something better.
In addition to not having done the homework to “fix” healthcare, Tester also faces another challenge in the healthcare debate – Montanan’s mistrust Tester after his lies about Obamacare.
The Senator promised that under Obamacare “if you like your plan, you get to keep it.”, but that turned out to be 2013’s lie of the year.
Tester promised that Obamacare would make healthcare more affordable and costs would go down, but Montanans especially know that isn’t true.
Lie after lie from Senator Tester and Montanans have no reason to trust any more of his false promises. About the only thing we can believe at this point is that Jon Tester has no idea how to fix healthcare.