Archive for October 7th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Roll Call (hate that firewall…) reports that Sen. Tester is “withholding a direct appeal to Baucus to strike the proposal pending the outcome of the forthcoming merger of Baucus’ Finance bill and legislation previously approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. But Tester is prepared to press his case to Baucus and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) if the Medicaid expansion survives.”

Schweitzer and Tester both take issue with having states absorb some of the costs of expanding Medicaid. Schweitzer “couldn’t be reached for comment,” (How whack is that? Seriously?) but Tester articulated his feelings regarding the possibility that states would have to absorb some of those costs:

“Well, they’re concerned about it, same as I am. Gov. Schweitzer’s concerned about the impacts on the budget. Our budget’s in pretty good shape in Montana right now, and if those costs have to be reimbursed, it could break the bank in Montana. I just want to make sure all states are held as harmless as they possibly can.”

Getting back to the ‘How whack is that?’ part….

According to Sen. Baucus, he said Schweitzer has yet to come to him with any complaints: “I’m not concerned. [Gov.] Schweitzer and I talk about this stuff. We’re on board. Last time we talked about it, he said: ‘Fine. Great,’” Baucus said. “We spent a lot of time talking to governors about that. And some governors are OK, and some are not OK.”


Before you shake your head and go blaming all that crazy miscommunication stuff on Baucus, Roll Call point out this tidbit:

In fact, Schweitzer, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, was one of 22 Democratic governors who recently signed a letter expressing support generally for the Finance Committee’s health care reform bill, which included a statement about the need for states to contribute to health care reform.
“We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system,” the Oct. 1 letter reads.

Under the Senate Finance proposal, states would pick up 11% of the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133% of poverty.

Up to 133% of poverty? Seems like there’s gonna be a big gap there….

Currently, most states currently cover parents with children earning around 100 percent of poverty, with the federal government picking up around 57 percent of the tab and the states 43 percent.

So who else is lining up to oppose healthcare under the heinous requirement of this 11% unfunded mandate? Senate Republicans.

All this has me wondering: Where does a health insurance reform wanting Montanan have to go for some support?


by jhwygirl

So no one’s gotten to this yet? Whee!

But seriously…no surprises there, right?

Senator Greg Barkus (of Kalispell) had 3 felony charges filed against him, in what was a day of minute by minute (practically) updates from a bunch of Montana news tweeters as the charges played out. NewWest has Dan Testa’s report from the Flathead Beacon.

Barkus’ BAC was .16 – twice the legal limit – 1 hour and 45 minutes after the crash.

4 hours after the crash, Barkus’ BAC was .12.

Barkus appeared in court today. He and his lawyer have already disputing the BAC figures, saying he’s got receipts showing he didn’t purchase enough alcohol to be that drunk…or something like that.

How soon before he surfaces his ‘..but my gps was broke‘ defense?

The “my gps was broke and even though I was drinking, I wasn’t drunk because, you know, it’s Montana and drinking and operating a motorized vehicle is no big deal, and it’s a good thing that I nearly killed people that were my friends, because, like, could you imagine what would happen to me if I had nearly killed someone I didn’t know?” defense. Yeah – that one.

Besides that…with all that national press, he might as well give ’em a little extra to write about. I mean – even Roll Call picked it up.


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