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Anchorage-Governor Walker has introduced legislation declaring his plan for Medicaid reform and expansion. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) supports the Governor’s efforts to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 41,000 Alaskans.
We echo the Governor’s sentiment that Medicaid reform and expansion is in the best interest of the state. It’s an Alaskan issue. By accepting federal funds to extend coverage, the legislation will cut the number of uninsured Alaskans by half while establishing the framework for meaningful reforms to the Medicaid program. If enacted, in 2016 the bill would bring an estimated $145 million in federal revenue to Alaska’s economy with an expected $6.6 million in State savings in 2016. An estimated $1.1 billion in total revenue would come to Alaska by 2021. In addition to the State savings and new federal revenue, the bill would create 4,000 new jobs generating $1.2 billion in wages and salaries for Alaskans.
Beyond the expansion of Medicaid coverage, ANTHC continues to support the Administration’s ongoing reform efforts toward achieving a sustainable Medicaid program and looks forward to partnering with the State on the additional reforms identified in the legislation.
Medicaid expansion provides benefits throughout Alaska. On the state level, Medicaid expansion creates the opportunity for Alaska to accept an estimated $145 million in federal funds in 2016, a much-needed boost to our economy. On the local level, access to healthcare for over 41,000 Alaskans provides a platform for lower income working residents to have healthy families and strengthen the foundation of our communities. Alaska Native people will see a direct benefit in the expansion of access and service capacity of the tribal health system, which in turn provides additional state healthcare savings.
“Governor Walker recognizes the unique opportunity for Alaska to realize state savings while also providing more Alaskans with access to health care,” said Andy Teuber, ANTHC Chairman and President. “The Consortium supports Governor Walker’s Medicaid expansion legislation and remains a partner for expansion implementation that will allow the Alaska Native Medical Center and our Tribal Health System to continue to improve access to essential health services.”
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