Health care

Community Hospital Sale
5:06 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

A.G. Fox Needs More Time To Review Community Hospital Sale

Credit Josh Burnham

Attorney General Tim Fox says he needs more time to analyze how $65 million from the sale of Missoula’s Community Medical Center should be used.

Fox approved the sale itself January 12. Still pending is Community’s proposal for where money from the sale should go.

"Because the proposal was submitted rather late in the process, we felt we did not have sufficient time to review that," said John Barnes, spokesman for the attorney general.

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Capitol Talk
4:36 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

'Capitol Talk': GOP Health Plan, U-System Funding, And 'Open War' Between Republicans And The COPP

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk, and Mike Dennison.
Credit Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk":

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Montana News
6:23 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Tester, VA Director Clash Over 'Closure' Of Psych Unit

Credit CC-BY-2.0

The acting director of veterans health care in Montana is on the defensive after Senator Jon Tester said the VA health center in Helena is temporarily closing its inpatient mental health unit.

In a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald in Washington, Tester said, “staffing levels at the VA in Montana are at the point where it can no longer safely staff the eight bed acute inpatient section of the mental health facility at Ft. Harrison” in Helena.

Johnny Ginnity, acting director at Ft. Harrison says, that doesn’t mean the mental health ward is being closed.

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Veteran's Adminstration
5:22 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Sen. Tester: Hiring Delays For Montana VA Director 'Completely Unacceptable'

Sen. Jon Tester
Credit Jon Tester

It's been eight months since the Montana VA had a permanent director and Senator Jon Tester says he's fed up with the delay.

Tester fired-off a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald this week calling it "completely unacceptable".

The Democrat says he only recently found out that a hire was imminent about three months ago. However,  the Office of Management and Budget found a "screw-up" that scuttled the process.

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Affordable Care Act
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Montana Sees Drop In Uninsured, Slowdown In Healthcare Spending

There are about three percent fewer Montanans without health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says the ACA is responsible for even bigger drops in the number of uninsured in other states.

"If the ACA stays around, we expect to continue to see the share of people without health insurance declining over the next few years."

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Alternative To Governor's Ideas
6:33 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Montana Republicans' Health Plan Explained, Criticized

The 2015 Montana Legislature Convenes January 5.
Credit Eric Whitney

A group of nine Montana state lawmakers has put out an alternative to Democratic Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to expand Medicaid. They call it the Healthy Montana Family Plan, and it aims to cover more people, without the long term expense of Medicaid expansion.

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Outpacing Last Year
4:10 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Insurance Commissioner's Office Pleased With ACA Enrollment

Montana Commissioner for Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen
Credit Montana CSI

Jennifer McKee from the office of the Montana Commissioner for Securities and Insurance talks with MTPR News Director Eric Whitney about the first tally of Montanans using to enroll in the Affordable Care Act.


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Obamacare Alternative
11:15 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Montana Senate Republicans Release Health Plan

Stevensville Senator Fred Thomas chairs the Montana Senate's Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee
Credit Montana Legislature

A group of Montana Republicans have released their plan to improve health care and insurance coverage in Montana.

Stevensville Senator Fred Thomas says: “Improving our healthcare system is a far more complicated equation than simply expanding government insurance coverage. Any solution must be a comprehensive plan that does more than just provide health insurance through the Obamacare framework.”

You can see the proposal below.

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Park County's Biggest Employer
3:15 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Livingston Patiently Pursues New Hospital

Livingston Health Care's new hospital is under construction east of downtown.
Credit Eric Whitney

The biggest employer in Park County is getting a new building. It's Livingston Health Care's new hospital. Hospital leaders say they need it to stay competitive with Bozeman and keep its $18 million payroll in town.

The big, steel skeleton is going up on Livingston's east side, just north of the Interstate. It's projected to be open in the fall.

Bren Lowe, Livingston Health Care's CEO, hass been giving a lot of tours of the construction site lately.

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U.S. Senate Race
5:32 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Candidate Curtis Campaigns On Women's Issues In Billings

Democratic US Senate Candidate Amanda Curtis greets a supporter before she speaks to supporters on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn Wednesday.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka

Democratic US Senate Candidate Amanda Curtis says the contrast between her and her Republican opponent couldn’t be more clear than when it comes to issues on women.

Curtis held a noon time rally on the lawn outside the Yellowstone County Courthouse Wednesday.

Curtis often talks about her working class, blue collar roots, and contrasts that against her wealthy Republican opponent.

The high school math teacher from Butte says the differences couldn’t be more stark when it comes to women’s issues.

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