Weekly Update from Juneau

I have had so many wonderful visitors in my office recently. People that I have had the pleasure of meeting with include members of the Alaska Primary Care Association and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, youth with 4-H, and members of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. My office also had the chance to speak with Anny Cochrano with Alaska Youth Advocates and meet “Jellybean.” On Friday….

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NEWS: Alaska Governor Legally Obligated to Accept Federal Funds for Medicaid Expansion

Juneau – Today, Representatives Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel), Zack Fields (D-Anchorage), and Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) released a memorandum from the non-partisan Division of Legal and Research Services confirming that the Governor of Alaska is legally obligated to accept federal funding to cover the Medicaid expansion population in Alaska. The memo’s authors note that the governor cannot simply eliminate funding for Medicaid expansion by refusing to receive federal funds. The memo goes on to stipulate that any restriction on how Medicaid funds are to be spent must be made by statute – not the budget.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Comment on Management Changes at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute

Juneau – Earlier today, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Adam Crum, announced that he was taking over the day to day management of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) in Anchorage, which is Alaska’s only psychiatric hospital. Commissioner Crum has contracted with a private health care company to provide administrative support and leadership for the hospital.

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