NEWS: Senate Health Care Vote Means Thousands of Alaskans Will Retain Insurance Coverage

Anchorage – Today, members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition expressed gratitude that the U.S. Senate turned down federal legislation that would take health care away from millions of Americans.

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NEWS: Alaska Legislature Should Quickly Act to Continue Insurance for Families of Police and Firefighters Killed in the Line of Duty

Juneau – Common sense legislation to honor Alaska’s first responders and their families is stuck in committee in both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska Senate. House Bill 4002 and Senate Bill 4002 would allow the State of Alaska to continue insurance coverage for spouses and dependents of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

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NEWS: House Republican Leadership Illegally Appeals Lawsuit to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – The Republican-controlled leadership in the Alaska House of Representatives has filed an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging Medicaid expansion in Alaska without approval of the full Alaska Legislature as required by law. The ill-advised lawsuit was dismissed in March by a Superior Court Judge after finding that the Social Security Act allowed the Governor to initiate Medicaid expansion and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Newsletter: Oil, Guns and Medicaid Reform

Tomorrow is the last day of the regular session and the house is moving legislation that was previously put on hold to prioritize the budget. HB 247, Oil and Gas Tax Credits, passed out of Finance Committee and made its way to the floor where it was then sent back to the Rules Committee.

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NEWS: Medicaid Expansion Lawsuit Should Not Continue Without Legislative Approval

Juneau – Today, Representatives Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) and Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) called on the Alaska Legislative Council to get approval from the full Alaska Legislature before continuing to fund the failed lawsuit challenging the expansion of healthcare options for thousands of Alaskans. 

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Fighting to Lower Health Insurance Costs

I was working on this week’s enewsletter about my bill to lower health insurance costs by reforming the rate review process, and then news broke yesterday afternoon that makes this bill even more important. Yesterday, the Division of Insurance announced it was cancelling Moda Health’s ability to sell or renew health insurance plans in Alaska. This leaves Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield as the only company selling individual health insurance, and now that one provider has a monopoly it is more important than ever that we a strong rate review process to protect Alaskans from unfair prices.

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NEWS: Concerns Raised About Monopoly of Individual Health Insurance in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Division of Insurance cancelled Moda Health’s ability to sell health insurance in Alaska. That leaves Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield as the only company selling individual health insurance plans in Alaska. Representative Adam Wool (D- Fairbanks) responded to the news by highlighting the need to reform Alaska’s health insurance rate review process. Rep. Wool is the sponsor of House Bill 239 which would create a series of reforms to strengthen the Division of Insurance’s review process and make sure consumers are informed of proposed rate increases. 

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Note from Rep. Gara: 4,000 New Jobs: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Prevent A Recession

I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend! Now for some sobering news – a big wallop to hit you with after a long weekend. And a solution so you hopefully don’t ever feel that wallop! A recent study says Alaska is either in a recession, or is on the possible brink of one. That’s a big concern. Standing still isn’t the way to address this news. Here’s something we should do to help avoid any protracted recession.

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