MTPR

Matt Rosendale

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.

Kalispell Republican Enters 2018 Senate Race

Apr 11, 2017
State Senator Albert Olszewski announced that he'll challenge Sen. Tester in the 2018 Elections.
Montana Legislature

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has his first challenger in the 2018 Montana elections. Republican state Sen. Albert Olszewski said today he will run for Tester's seat.

Olszewski is an orthopedic surgeon who lives in Kalispell. He served one term in the state House from 2015-2017, and is in his first term in the state Senate.

Montana’s top insurance regulator is promoting a new healthcare coverage option that he doesn’t regulate.

It's called Medi-Share, and is run by a Christian non-profit in Florida that markets it as a ministry where members pay into accounts that are used to pay medical bills for other members.

State auditor Matthew Rosendale.
Montana Legislature

State Auditor Matt Rosendale has approved a nearly 8 percent reduction in Montana's workers compensation costs. The decrease takes effect this summer.

Rosendale says Montana's work comp rates have decreased ever since the 2011 legislative session:

U.S. Capitol
flickr user Tim Evanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

The former chairman of the Montana Republican Party says he wants his party’s nomination to replace Congressman Ryan Zinke.

It’s been just over a week since Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke was nominated to be secretary of Interior by President-elect Donald Trump. Since then, at least half-a-dozen Republicans and one Democrat have expressed interest in replacing him. If Zinke is confirmed by the Senate, Montana will hold a special election next year to fill his House seat.

To talk over what this means for Montana, we’re joined by Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana and analyst for MTPR.

Republican State Senator Ed Buttrey says he is seeking the nomination to replace Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke next year:
Corin Cates-Carney

Republican State Senator Ed Buttrey says he is seeking the nomination to replace Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke next year:

Rep. Ryan Zinke is rumored to be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Eric Whitney

The news that Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke is apparently President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior is still reverberating across the country and in Montana. For perspective, we’re now joined by Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana, and analyst for MTPR. I asked him for his initial impression of the news:

Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates in Montana's State Auditor race debated for the first time this election season during an event hosted by the Seeley Lake Community Council on Thursday. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich and Republican Matt Rosendale challenged each other's ability to address rising healthcare costs, if elected as the state's top regulator of insurance and securities industries in Montana. 

The debate also featured statewide candidates in the contests for Superintendent of Public Instruction and an open seat on the Public Service Commission. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich, left, and Republican Matt Rosendale, candidates for state auditor, at last night's candidate forum in Seeley Lake
Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates for three statewide offices debated in Seeley Lake last night, with Election Day just over a month away. It was the second debate in the town’s community hall in the last two weeks.

After a poor turnout by politicians and voters in the first debate night, event organizers expected the second round to bring in more of a crowd. But that wasn’t quite the case.

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