Montana Public Radio

Medicaid expansion

Campaign Beat: Health Care, Supreme Court Fights, Dinosaurs And The Munchies

Sep 25, 2020

Montana's House candidates have their first debate. Ads in that race try to paint the other as the "outsider." The battle to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's court seat could impact Montana's Senate race. Health care and science dominate the race for governor. And marijuana returns to the ballot.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Candidates for Montana’s lone U.S. House of Representatives seat met in a debate Wednesday night hosted by MontanaPBS. MTPR’s Shaylee Ragar reports that in their first match up this election cycle, Matt Rosendale and Kathleen Williams traded barbed words as they pitched themselves as the best person for the job.

Community leaders reviewed COVID-19’s disproportionate impact to Indigenous people across Montana during a virtual roundtable on Sept. 23. They also considered ways to improve health outcomes among tribal members.

Democratic state Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy of Crow Agency lamented the rise of COVID-19 cases in tribal communities after Montana began reopening in June, during the panel discussion hosted by Protect our Care Montana

“It’s a tsunami impact upon our people across the nation,” Peregoy said.

A new report released Tuesday says around 60 percent of Montana businesses last year had at least one worker enrolled in Medicaid expansion. Enrollment in the health care program for low income adults has been on the rise for the last four months.

At a meeting in Bozeman, Barbara Wagner, chief economist of the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, said nearly 20 percent of the state’s entire workforce was enrolled in Medicaid at one point or another last year.

The candidates for Montana’s state auditor office squared off in a televised debate Sunday hosted by MTN News. The Republican candidate touted his past business experience as making him the most qualified to run the office. The Democrat argues he’s best prepared for the job due to his work as an attorney and state legislator.

Campaign Beat: Greens, Guns And Preexisting Conditions

Aug 21, 2020

Montana's Secretary of State loses his battle to keep Green Party candidates on the ballot. New campaign ads focus on family and gun rights. The two candidates for governor release their health care plans. The national party conventions may hold little sway over Montana races. And Governor Bullock rebukes State School Superintendent Elsie Arntzen in their ongoing dispute over school masking policy

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana lt. governor and gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney.
Courtesy

Montana’s Democratic candidate for governor announced a plan Wednesday that he says will increase access to health care and lower prescription drug prices.

The plan reiterates Lt. Gov Mike Cooney’s support for Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which was reauthorized with bipartisan support during the 2019 legislative session. The plan also outlines several legislative actions Cooney would push aimed at decreasing the cost of prescriptions.

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Bradshaw Sumners watched throughout February as COVID-19 hot spots developed in major American cities, waiting to see when the coronavirus pandemic would manifest in Montana. When it finally did, life for the Livingston resident and father of two changed dramatically. His daughters, 8 and 4 years old, were suddenly home from school. The restaurant group where Sumners works maintenance shut down, thrusting him onto unemployment alongside legions of workers nationwide.

 

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined other congressional Democrats this week in rebuking the Trump administration's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

The Senate resolution signed by Tester and 46 other Democratic and Independent senators is a direct repreminad of the U.S. Department of Justice’s request last week for the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

In a Facebook town hall meeting Tuesday, Tester said efforts to dismantle the ACA during the novel coronavirus pandemic are "irresponsible and cruel."

Gov. Steve Bullock talks about Medicaid expansion at a press conference on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

In May, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Montana grew by 1,700. It’s the first time in over a year that enrollment numbers in the health coverage program for low income adults increased over the previous month.

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