Celebrating Montana’s Wins for Healthcare Freedom
"These reforms are expanding access to high quality, affordable healthcare without the need for strict government mandates or increases in taxes – reaffirming the notion that sometimes the best solution to the problems Montanans face is for the government to just get out of the way."
“I love Montana for reasons that draw me to the state at least once a year: friends, mountains, wildlife, dry air, and fishing, to name a few. Now I have a new reason to love it: Healthcare freedom.” – Lawrence Reed, Renowned Author & Frontier Board Member
The last two years have been dominated by news on how the healthcare system is broken, which certainly is the case in some areas, however Montana’s 2021 legislative session led to a number of reforms that cut healthcare red tape and increased access to high quality affordable care – that’s something worth celebrating.
In this month’s Legislative Viewpoints column, Montana Senator Cary Smith and Representative Rhonda Knudsen discuss how three bills passed during the 2021 session are expanding access to healthcare by cutting through red tape.
The first of these reforms is HB 43 which expanded telehealth in Montana:
“Telehealth is enabling innovative mental health services in Montana’s rural agricultural communities and reducing costs, travel requirements and time associated with in-person doctor visits.”
The second is something you’ve heard me talk about in the last few weeks, SB 101 which formally authorized Direct Patient Care in Montana:
“At least 16 DPC clinics are now providing an estimated 5,000 Montanans with services ranging from primary care to personalized diabetes management to prescriptions.”
The third bill is SB 374, which expanded the ability of doctors to dispense medications within their scope and practice:
“The new law gives Montanans more convenient options to shop for and receive their medications.”
These reforms are expanding access to high quality, affordable healthcare without the need for strict government mandates or increases in taxes – reaffirming the notion that sometimes the best solution to the problems Montanans face is for the government to just get out of the way.
As part of our Healthcare Viewpoints series, guest author Jack Brown of Kalispell wrote a column on the issues stemming from medical licensing. Here is a sneak peak to what he had to say:
“Montana faces a critical doctor shortage. While the European Union allows free movement of healthcare workers across its 27 member countries, the United States does not allow this movement across state borders.”
Montana on The Rise Economic Summit
Senator Daines and the Montana Chamber of Commerce recently announced the official date for the Montana on The Rise Economic Summit, which will be hosted on Thursday, June 2nd at The Commons in Bozeman. The Summit will highlight Montana’s emerging and existing industries from high-tech and photonics to biotechnology, crypto, and film.
This Summit is an excellent opportunity to find out more about the companies relocating to or expanding their operations to the Last Best Place. I will be there, will you?
2022 Naturopathic Medicine Week
In honor of this week being the 2022 Naturopathic Medicine Week, I interviewed Ingrid Lovitt, the Executive Director of the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians to learn about the red tape standing in the way of naturopathic doctors practicing at their full potential and training. This is one story you don’t want to miss.
“It’s really encouraging that the Red Tape Relief Initiative is shining a spotlight on these outdated, 30 year old regulations. Montanans shouldn’t have to pay the price for outdated rules. These rules were written before the internet and cell phones were widely adopted – it’s finally time to dust off the rule book and bring naturopathic health care regulations into the 21st century.”