Montana Child Care Business Connect Unveils New Online Resource Hub
Submitted By Heide Borgonovo, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
for Zero to Five Montana
Montana Child Care Business Connect (MCCBC) is thrilled to announce the launch of its new website, www.childcarebusinessconnect.com. The new website serves as a comprehensive resource hub for all stakeholders in the child care industry, providing valuable information, tools, and support to help businesses thrive and provide high-quality care to children and families across Montana. The MCCBC website is designed to cater to the unique needs of child care providers, early childhood educators, families, and community members. The website offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and access a wide range of resources.
Users can explore various sections of the website, including business support, professional development, and community capacity growth tools. One of the highlights of the new website is the extensive business support section, which provides child care providers with valuable tools and information to help them manage and grow their businesses. From business planning and financial management to marketing and staff recruitment, the website offers practical resources and best practices to support the success of child care businesses in Montana. The professional development section of the website will offer access to a wide range of training resources, workshops, and certifications.
These resources are aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of early childhood entrepreneurs, ensuring high-quality early care and education programs for young children. Families and communities can also benefit from the website’s community resources section, which provides information on how child care impacts the local economy and how to organize a community into taking action to support a strong child care network. “We are excited to launch the new website for Montana Child Care Business Connect, which is a valuable resource hub for all stakeholders in the child care industry,” said Rhonda Schwenke, Program Director of MCCBC. “The website is designed to empower child care providers, educators, and community members with the information and tools they need to navigate the child care landscape in Montana to start or continue successful and sustainable child care businesses. We believe that this website will serve as a catalyst for fostering collaboration, promoting business best practices, and improving the quality of child care services in our state and we look forward to building out and connecting to many more valuable resources and tools.” To explore the new website and access valuable resources for the child care industry, please visit www.childcarebusinessconnect.com.
Tester Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Lower Drug Costs for Medicare Patients
Submitted By Sarah Feldman, Senator Jon Tester’s Office
U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced his bipartisan Patients Before Middlemen (PBM) Act bill to lower drug costs and prevent massive Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) from price gouging Medicare Part D patients. The Senator’s bill would prohibit PBMs from making more money on high-cost drugs than they do from lower-cost drugs to even the playing field for Medicare patients. The bill is also sponsored by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). “Montanans on Medicare rely on Medicare Part D to help cover the cost of life-saving prescriptions, but too often folks still struggle to afford their medication,” said Tester. “That’s because massive PBM corporations are incentivized to jack up prices for consumers and put a squeeze on the pharmacies they rely on. That’s why I’m working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get rid of bad incentives, lower drug costs and hold these massive corporations accountable for price gouging our seniors.” Instead of incentivizing PBMs to buy and sell the most expensive drugs by linking their service fees to the list price of drugs, this bill would only allow PBMs to charge a flat fee for their services. Right now PBMs make less money from lower-cost drugs and they often get left off formularies and aren’t covered by insurance. This bill seeks to disrupt that incentive and lower drug costs by delinking PBM’s revenue streams from the list price of drugs. Tester has led the charge to lower health care costs for Montanans and hold massive PBM companies accountable. In May, Tester introduced his bipartisan Delinking Revenue from Unfair Gouging (DRUG) Act to lower drug costs and prevent massive Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) from price gouging consumers in commercial markets. And in March, Tester successfully attached a provision to his PBM Transparency Act to close a loophole that would have allowed PBMS to charge “clawback” fees. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in February, Tester slammed the detrimental impacts that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are having on local pharmacies in Montana and the consumers that rely on them. Last May, Tester successfully pushed the Biden Administration to lower prescription drug costs for Montana seniors by closing a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) loophole that allowed PBMs to retroactively charge excessive fees. This will benefit patients by lowering out-of-pocket costs and help rural pharmacies stay in business by increasing predictability and transparency. And last August, Tester voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which cut health care costs for working families by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and capping the price of prescription drugs, like insulin, for Medicare patients.
Letter to the Editor – Response
This is a response to last week’s letter to the Editor, titled: Bringing Life into the World. It is inconceivable that anyone could try to justify killing a fetus, a baby in the womb, because they can’t afford to raise the child. Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton and Leonardo DiCaprio all were born into poverty, so let’s just throw that argument out. Many federal, state and local resources are readily available to mothers and babies who are financially challenged. Public hospitals are an option for all pregnant women who cannot afford to pay for pre-natal care or birthing services. This includes women with high-risk pregnancies. Our own Cabinet Peaks Medical Center is a charitable not-for-profit hospital. As for feeding a child—the government provides many food assistance programs: WIC – Women Infants and Children—safeguards the health of low-income women, infants and children up to age 5 by providing supplemental food, nutrition education and healthcare referrals. SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. USDA Commodity Distribution Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Our local Food Pantry run by volunteers, provides an amazing service…people helping people. Libby Pregnancy Care Center, staffed by volunteers, provides infant clothing, supplies, formula, diapers and all kinds of literature and support. Other resources: prolifeacrossamerica.org is a great resource for pre-natal or post-abortive support. Help Hotline 800-366-7773. tpusa.com is also a wonderful source. Accusing a political group en masse of hypocrisy is not helping to save or feed anyone. This rhetoric only serves to divide. And anti-abortion laws DO save lives. Abortion DOES kill a human life, a life with a heartbeat, a life with its own separate DNA. In the USA there are more families wanting to adopt than babies being born. My own child was a gift from God and I am forever grateful to the woman who chose not to have an abortion. An afterthought: when did we get to be a people who always look to the federal government to supply our needs? “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything you have,”