An analysis posted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) shows that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) won re-election while promising not only to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but to expand the benefits for those programs. Tester won the race by a comfortable 3.9 point margin despite predictions that the seat was a likely Republican pick-up.
PCCC pointed out numerous ways that Tester expressed his support for protecting the safety net programs that are a target of the bipartisan commission, led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. “Cutting the debt and deficit will be about priorities, and Jon believes cutting the safety net from seniors is not what we should be discussing,” said campaign spokesperson Aaron Murphy.
Tester also said specifically in a town hall meeting that he doesn't support any cuts to Social Security and Medicare. His website listed several related priorities:
- Fight against the privatization of Social Security.
- Oppose controversial efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher system.
- Work to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.
- Pass laws to improve the delivery of services to Montanans.
- Expand benefits.
While many candidates called for protecting these programs, few went as far as Tester in calling for them to be expanded.