While COVID-related news dominated coverage of the 2021 legislature, Governor Greg Gianforte and the Montana Legislature have tacitly ushered in one of the most dramatic expansions to health care access in recent times. Montana’s leadership should be commended for addressing the chronic lack of health care in our state directly. Now the focus should be on keeping the swing going.

The legislator passed a proposal from the Frontier Institute this spring to repeal Protectionist Certificates of Need (CON), which will help open up more options for inpatient addiction care, home nursing, outpatient surgical centers, and more

A nursing home in Billings testified that the repeal of CON regulations would allow them to redesign their facility to offer residents more targeted care in private rooms without waiting for government approval. Previously, every $ 1.5 million spend resulted in a CON review, a costly process that took six months and worked through a long list of red tape. The nursing home said the regulations had not been adjusted for over 30 years since the first CON laws were passed.