MTPR

Medicaid

On Thursday the head of Montana’s health department will speak publicly about recent deep budget cuts. She’ll be on a panel with state lawmakers that a progressive political group in Helena is hosting. 

Nicky Ouellet

Governor Steve Bullock was in Whitefish Monday stumping for a ballot initiative to fund Medicaid expansion through increased tobacco taxes.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to 'Campaign Beat,' our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk and I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

More than 40 people came to the DPHHS hearing on Medicaid cuts Feb. 1, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Health care providers who take care of some of the most vulnerable people in Montana say they’re thankful for state budget restorations, but they hope it’s just the start.

Mental health services.
Flickr user Publik15 (CC-BY-SA)

 

Organizations that provide care for people with mental health problems in Montana say they’ve reached an agreement with the state health department to redesign a big portion of the system they work in. 

Health officials have now confirmed 92 whooping cough cases in the Missoula area.
iStock.

Pieces of the state budget that fell apart over the last year and a half are starting to get put back together. Last week, Governor Steve Bullock released a plan that outlined $45 million in budget restorations now that the state has collected more revenue than was forecast last year.

Most of the restorations are going to the state health department, which took the biggest budget cuts in January and reduced services for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio


More than $45 million of the state budget will be restored under a plan by Governor Steve Bullock. It will unwind budget cuts enacted over the last year that have devastated parts of Montana's health care community.

Many of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable people — and the health care providers who serve them — are anxiously awaiting news from Governor Steve Bullock this week. Bullock is expected to release his plan to restore some funding to health programs for the state’s poor and disabled that have been devastated by budget cuts over the last year.

MTPR Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney is here now to talk about the upcoming announcement.

More details on Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to restore parts of the state budget are expected this week.

On Tuesday, the state health department says it will issue a new rule that will restore a nearly 3 percent cut to how much it pays doctors, clinics and other health care providers who see Medicaid patients, retroactive to July 1 of this year. That’s two months ahead of when the department initially said providers could expect that rate restoration.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.

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