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Parnell: There will be no Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Staff writer |
Citing the failure of Obamacare, the enormous current and future Medicaid costs to Alaska, and greater uncertainty about the federal government's ability to pay its share, Governor Sean Parnell announced Friday he will not seek to expand Medicaid health coverage for the poor in Alaska.

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Enacted in 1965, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health care insurance to low-income persons whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.

Along with his announcement, the $80,000 Alaska Medicaid Expansion Cost Study, the subject of numerous public record requests, was also released. The study was provided to the state in April; however, all requests for public release of the study were refused by the administration, asserting the 60-page report was part of the administration's decision-making process and secret until a decision was made.

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage NAACP, Alaska Bush Caucus, Senator Begich, Byron Mallott, and some 1,400 Alaska petitioners had urged Parnell to expand Medicaid.

"Obamacare has failed to launch, is failing to deliver on its promises, and remains in disarray. Expanding one of its largest, most costly parts will undoubtedly negatively impact Alaskans. More people are losing their insurance policies and paying higher premiums with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Some Obamacare deadlines have been extended, while others have not, unbundling Obamacare's package of interdependent trade-offs. As a result, health care is becoming less affordable and less accessible, as we witness what appears to be the destruction of the private insurance market," said Governor Parnell.

Medicaid is already one of Alaska's biggest and most costly government programs noted Governor Parnell. At a cost of $1.5 billion per year, the program covers approximately 140,000 Alaskans, which averages to roughly $11,000 per Alaskan covered. By 2020, without Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, Alaska's current Medicaid program costs are expected to grow from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion.

With the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, Alaska's Medicaid costs will skyrocket said Mr. Parnell.

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