Eric Whitney

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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The special state committee set up to oversee Medicaid expansion in Montana got its first progress report since expansion began January 1.

"This is just incredible success we’re having," Marie Matthews with the state health department told the committee. "This program has already saved the state general fund about $3 million," she said.

Enrollment in Montana’s expanded Medicaid program is exceeding expectations, and so far has refunded $3 million to the state’s general fund.

That’s according to officials with the state health department who briefed a special expansion oversight committee today.

Montana Democrats rallied in Helena Saturday night around their candidates for six statewide offices. Party Executive Director Nancy Keenan fired up the crowd and set the tone for this year's election.

"We have to make those phone calls, and we have to get out the vote," Keenan said. "Let's go! Let's go win! On to victory!"

A U.S. Senate committee Tuesday heard competing bills co-sponsored by Montana's Senators to fix a veterans health program.

Republican Representative Ryan Zinke announced that he's running for re-election to Montana's lone U.S. House seat last weekend. The former state legislator and U.S. Navy SEAL from Whitefish is facing Democrat Denise Juneau. We caught up with Zinke when he visited the University of Montana's Neural Injury Center yesterday. 

Senator Steve Daines Wednesday criticized the Indian Health Service for what he says is too much spending on administration and not enough on actual health care.

A year-old program intended to reform veterans' health care and help veterans get medical appointments more quickly isn’t working. That’s the conclusion of Montana Senator Jon Tester, who helped push the reform through Congress in the first place.

 

Governor Steve Bullock raised more money in the latest campaign finance reporting period than his opponent Greg Gianforte.

Newly-released enrollment numbers for the University of Montana show there are now about 1,000 fewer students on its Missoula campuses compared to spring semester last year.

Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years.

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