Archive for Healthcare


Greater access to care

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Yesterday on the Senate floor, Rep. Wanzenried added an amendment to HB623, the GOP compromise to Medicaid Expansion, which would allow for expanded private insurance coverage for low income Montanans.

This amendment puts Montana families and small businesses first. Allowing greater access to the healthcare needs of families now will help save money in the future, and create a healthier workforce to maintain a growing economy. A healthier economy will then support the unique industries that make Montana such a great place to live.

Thank you, Sen. Wanzenried for your diligence, and bi-partisan work, to put Montana families first in every decision.

Categories : Healthcare, Issues

“I support Planned Parenthood.”

“Birth Control, Not Bans.”

“Stand Up For Women, Support Family Planning.”

These are a few of the simple yet powerful phrases written on the signs of supporters rallying for family planning programs in Montana. In preparation for several pieces of legislation concerning funding for women’s, around 30 people held up signs of support on a busy Helena corner down the street from the Capitol.

The State’s Budget, was heard in a Senate Committee this morning. Passing a sound budget is the only legislation that the Legislature is legally bound to do here in Helena.

Once again playing politics with women’s health, Republican legislators have opposed bringing Montana taxpayer money back into the state; funding that helps cover vital healthcare services such as cancer screenings. Clearly out of touch with Montana values, they do not care about these important health care and privacy issues. More from the Billings Gazette:

“Unfortunately there … is some willful ignorance,” Love said [Lindsey Love, Planned Parenthood Communications Manager]. “Because politics is so often injected into women’s health, it’s easy for some elected officials to lose sight of the actual merits of the programs and get caught up with the rhetoric instead of the facts.”

Without family-planning services provided by Title X-funded clinics, the number of abortions in Montana would go up by 114 percent, while the number of unintended pregnancies will rise by 62 percent, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

In the Senate, Democrats are working on amendments to restore family planning funding, and several even joined the public display of support yesterday, holding their  own signs. It was clear from the noise as cars passed the “Honk if You Support Family Planning” signs that the public wants these programs funded.

While Republican legislators are willing to sacrifice Montanans’ health to make political gains, Democratic legislators remain deeply dedicated to supporting common sense solutions to address the challenges facing our state.

This post was written by Cassie Hintz, MDLCC Legislative Assistant

Categories : Healthcare, Issues

This morning members of both parties at the legislature came together to pass a law that will help strengthen child endangerment laws.

SB160, introduced by Sen. Mitch Tropila is a bi-partisan piece of legislation that passed the Senate floor unanimously, and will not move on to the House Floor.

“While this won’t stop child abuse completely, it is a major step towards turning back the tide of suffering in our communities,” said Sen. Tropila. “One death is too many. Enough is Enough.”

This is a great example of Democratic legislators putting Montana’s best interest ahead of our party’s interests, and working together in a bipartisan way to get results that benefit all Montanans.


Categories : Healthcare, Issues

We’ve heard how expanding Medicaid will help working Montana families and Montana’s economy, but there is one incredibly important subgroup that shouldn’t be forgotten in this debate.

Expanding Medicaid would mean access to health care to over 9,000 military families across the state.

More from the Budget and Policy Center:

Military veterans and their families are among the Montanans who would benefit from the expansion of Medicaid currently being considered by the Montana Legislature. As many as 9,500 Montana veterans, along with their spouses, would gain access to quality, affordable health care coverage – at little cost to the state.

 Despite what many assume, veterans and their families often do not have automatic and easy access to Veterans Affairs (VA) health care, despite their service to our country.

Montana has the highest percentage of uninsured veterans in the nation (17.3%).  Approximately 9,000 veterans have no insurance, and about 5,000 more report having only VA health care.

The men and women who have served our country deserve better.

A vote against Medicaid expansion is a vote against 9,000 Montana veterans and their families, a vote that we simply cannot afford to make.

Categories : Healthcare, Issues

VETOed by the Brand

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Today, Governor Brian Schweitzer was true to his word when he said he would take his VETO branding irons to bills that are unconstitutional, frivolous or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of Montana voters.

In a ceremony on the north steps of the Capitol, the Governor was joined by more than 100 onlookers as he took the brands to 7 bills.

The bills the got the brand were:

  • SB114: Which initially would have put sheriffs in charge of federal law enforcement officers, but now had been amended to where it was pointless and would do nothing but clutter our law books
  • HB318: Would put county commissioners in charge of bison management, rather than FWP as it currently is
  • SB109: Would kills jobs in the state and roll back our progress towards renewable energy
  • HB272: Would make it more difficult for the public to acquire land for hunting, fishing and recreating
  • SB159: Would make it harder for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient
  • HB180: Would eliminate election day voter registration
  • SB306: Would overturn two voter approved laws that restricted cyanide leach open-pit mining and thus would severely damage our rivers, lakes and streams

In addition to these bills, the Governor also held a more traditional veto signing in his office. Here he vetoed the following bills: HB456HB464SB111SB228SB324SB370SB324SB370SB254HB161SB183 and HB542

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