Weekly Column

Spring and Conservation: Both in Season Now

Farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which rewards producers for conservation practices on working lands, thanks to passage of legislation that replaces funding for the 2013 CSP that was accidently cut off in the government spending bill that passed last October.

USDA can now proceed with enrolling just over 11 million acres of farm and ranch land in the program this year, bringing the program to a grand total of 62 million acres by year’s end.

Expanding Health Care Coverage is a Smart Investment

Hard-working Montana families need the security of quality health care. A bill in the legislature, HB 458, could help 69,000 Montanans gain that security. These people are your neighbors - farmers and ranchers, small business owners, retirees, and entrepreneurs that don’t get health insurance from their employers.

HB 458 would expand Montana’s Medicaid program, and create an estimated 12,000 to 16,000 jobs over the next 8 years. Over $2 billion would return to Montana’s economy in that same time period as a result of increased economic activity in the health sector.

Hot and Dry, Cold and Wet

In 2012, critically hot, dry weather hit the Midwest and Great Plains, while the East Coast endured floods, Hurricane Sandy and record New England snowfall. Climatologists described these specific weather events, for the first time, as part of a changing climate attributed to global warming.
 

Expanding Medicaid Makes Sense for Nebraska

By Dr. Amanda McKinney, MD, Beatrice Community Hospital

I support the new Medicaid initiative in Nebraska under the Affordable Care Act. At a minimum, 78,000 uninsured adult Nebraskans would obtain health insurance coverage. Up to 108,000 would be eligible for the benefit. This would cover nearly half of uninsured adults in Nebraska.

Laws, Sausages and the Sequester

There are two things no one should ever witness being made... laws and sausages. As the clock winds down on yet another fiscal deadline in Congress, many Americans are trying to determine how they will be impacted by the mandatory budgetary reductions that will occur on March 1st, unless Congress and the White House can strike another deal.

Pages