Regional Politics

Montana was one of the last states to expand Medicaid, and its Obamacare marketplace is doing pretty well. It has 50,000 customers, decent competition and no places that have come to be called "bare counties" — where no insurers want to sell plans.

Still, the three insurers selling in Montana now say that if GOP plans to cut Medicaid and repeal the individual mandate go through, it will mean higher costs all around.

Leaders of Montana doctors, nurses and hospital groups today spoke out against the health care bill being proposed by Senate Republicans.

John Goodnow is the CEO of Benefis, Montana's second largest hospital system, based in Great Falls. And he's no fan of the health care bill the House passed in May. Nor does he like the Senate's proposed changes to it.

Gas and diesel prices ticked up over the weekend as a new state tax went into effect. The new tax will increase every July 1 for the next six years, to fund maintenance on bridges and roads across the state.

Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area. Some of the groups involved include the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, The Humane Society and Earthjustice.

 

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso says there’s been a recent spike in local grizzly bear deaths.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/risMaC][img]https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8615/16606524482_df2613dabb_k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/risMaC]Globe[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/litratcher/]Wendy Cope[/url], on Flickr
Wendy Cope

The Assiniboine and Sioux tribes have filed a Title VI complaint against the Wolf Point school district.

This is the first time tribes have filed a complaint to the federal Departments of Justice and Education on their children’s behalf, based on school policy, in a school district that has a majority Native population.  

Marsy'slaw.us

The Montana Supreme Court delayed a voter-approved victim's rights law that was scheduled to take effect tomorrow.

According to the Associated Press, Marsy’s Law would give crime victims and their families the right to participate in judicial proceedings and be notified of key developments in a case. It would also expand their privacy rights.

Jackie Yamanaka

 

Members of Congress are home for their 4th of July recess without voting on the Republican’s health care proposal.

 

Senators Jon Tester, D-MT, and Steve Daines, R-MT, both held public forums over the past week to gather Montanans opinions on the issue.

Senator Steve Daines says he wants to hear from Montanans before deciding how he’ll vote on the Republican health care proposal currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.

And hear from them, Daines did Wednesday night during his 17th live healthcare tele-town hall meeting.

Daines faced an earnest and sometimes feisty series of questions from Montanans trying to make sense of the complicated healthcare debate:

Western governors are calling on Congress to amend the federal Endangered Species Act, with an eye for increasing the role of state governments in the use of the law.

The Western Governors Association made recommendations Wednesday for what states and federal agencies can do to improve species conservation and recovery.

Blackfeet tribal members rejected a measure to reform their constitution Tuesday.

The proposed reform constitution would have drastically revamped the structure of the tribe’s government by establishing a three-branch system with built-in checks and balances. But that change was rejected by tribal members. Instead, the tribe will retain its current nine-member, single branch governing body, called the Tribal Business Council, which has been in place for the past 82 years.

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