A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

28 July 2017 — 1300 mdt

Tester takes Daines’ bait, votes against single-payer


Yesterday, Sen. Jon Tester cast a vote that will — and should — infuriate many Democrats. Joined by Democratic Blue Dogs Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), and independent Angus King (ME), Tester voted against Daines’ amendment (Senate Amendment 340 to Senate Amendment 267 to H.R. 1628, the House’s bill to gut the Affordable Care Act) to create a single-payer health care system for the nation. The amendment failed, 0–57, with 42 Democrats and independent Bernie Sanders voting “present.”

Daines, who voted for all of Mitch McConnell’s bills to deny health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, offered his single-payer amendment to embarrass Democrats, hoping to peel off a few Democratic “No” votes so that Republicans could claim that the single-payer bill died a bipartisan death.

Tester, et al, no doubt thinking voting against Daines’ mischief amendment would inoculate them against charges they are European socialists hellbent on helping the improvident and undeserving, seized the opportunity and granted Daines and Mitch McConnell their wish.

Unlike Daines, Tester voted against all of McConnell’s bills. Give him credit for that.

But what does he believe should be done to improve the ACA, which leaves millions uninsured, and permits the sale of high deductible insurance policies that are next to worthless?

If Tester believes that health care is a right, or should be a right, what kind of health care system does he propose that would provide equal protection under the law? An everyone covered for everything federal single-payer system financed by progressive taxes would provide equal protection under the law, but what other system would?

Voting against Daines’ sucker the Blue Dogs amendment was a mistake. King, Tester, and the other Democratic defectors should have voted “Present.”