Alaska Medicaid Expansion
Alaska Medicaid Expansion: The state of Alaska has chosen not to expand Medicaid, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Republican Sean Parnell is currently governing the State of Alaska. Parnell is the tenth and current Governor of Alaska. He was elected to a full term as Governor in November 2010. A Republican, he was first sworn in on July 26, 2009 to succeed Sarah Palin after her resignation.
On February 28th 2013, Governor Parnell said he was opposed to expanding Medicaid in the state, given what he knows about the federal budget. The expansion would provide health care coverage to about 40,000 low income Alaskans.
Parnell explained to reporters he did not plan on asking the Legislature this session for funding or authorization to expand the states Medicaid program. Parnell stated he would provide his recommendation with his next decision point coming when he submits his 2014 budget in December.
According to Alaska Public Radio, The state of Alaska commissioned a study to be completed on the effects of having the states expand Medicaid. The state commission a study last year in 2012 to provide the legislative office recommendations on expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The main goal of the study was to inform the Governor on whether he should reconsider his position no to expand Medicaid.
Josh Applebee the deputy director for health care policy in Alaska has been spending the majority of his days since december reviewing the Medicaid expansion study and preparing a recommendation for the Governor. The study was supposed to have been completed in December, but the states have not release the findings. Applebee has stated the study will be released when he finalizes his recommendation, in a few months. Applebee has indicated that the report will not be release prior to that point as I could compromise the findings if the state released the study before then.
“When you get into different policy alternatives, you end up creating a chilling effect on candid policy debates that happen within governmental organizations,” Applebee said.