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In 2019, health care is again a major issue of debate in Montana and across the country. In Washington, D.C., people on both sides of the aisle have ideas on how to best fix the system but with the gridlock in Congress, their proposals don’t seem to go anywhere.

Rather than fighting about how to restructure the healthcare system, Congress should focus on protecting policies that have expanded coverage and push forward with policies that can actually be accomplished now, and most importantly, which will make care more affordable and accessible. It doesn’t make sense to get rid of successful policies and programs that have expanded coverage. Congress should focus on keeping the good and fixing the bad.

Protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions should be the top of the list. There are hundreds of thousands of Montanans with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be denied coverage. Reforms like allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 have allowed more people to access coverage when they need it.

These are common-sense ideas, and there are many other achievable reforms like encouraging preventive care for patients and prioritizing education and enrollment in health care.

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A one-sided partisan proposal just won’t get through a divided Congress. By working together like we do in Montana, and focusing on areas we all agree need improvement, our leaders in Washington can actually put policies in place that will make a real difference to people who need care the most.

Jim Corson

Billings

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