MTPR

Kathy Kelker

(PD)

State lawmakers want to know more about why the cost of health care keeps rising, and make it easier for Montanans to know the prices for health care procedures up front. The state Legislature says that’s a top priority ahead of the next legislative session.

A group lawmakers, healthcare and insurance representatives charged with studying health care costs and price transparency met for the first time at the capitol Tuesday.

(PD)

Montana lawmakers are making plans to research statewide health concerns ahead of the next legislative session. But those plans could be upended this summer depending on actions in Washington D.C. amid the Trump administration’s push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Montana Lawmakers Push Bills On Health Costs, Transparency

Apr 17, 2017
Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Congress may be undecided about former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, but Montana lawmakers are pushing through legislation they believe will bring down health care costs and increase price transparency regardless of what happens in Washington.

A half-dozen measures were still alive as the 2017 legislative session enters its final days. They include authorizing a high-risk insurance pool, allowing out-of-state insurers to sell policies in Montana, better informing patients about health care prices and giving tax credits to small companies that offer high-deductible plans to their employees.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

A bill entering the Montana House of Representatives Monday would create a voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds from lower income families.

House Bill 563, or the Montana Preschool Grant Program, would give children who qualify access to what Rep. Kathy Kelker, D-Billings, says is high quality preschool education.

“This bill matters to me,” says Rep. Kathy Kelker, D-Billings, about House Bill 303. Kelker has carried a similar bill in the 2015 session
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

A bill that would require the state to study cases of child abuse made progress in the Montana House, today. House Democratic leaders are calling it one of the most important bills of the session.

House Bill 303 would establish a commission to look at trends of child abuse in the state and recommend policies aiming to prevent abuse and death among children.

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