KTVA: Murkowski vows ‘no’ vote on repealing Medicaid expansion, defunding Planned Parenthood

Sen. Lisa Murkowski addressed the Alaska Legislature Wednesday morning for the 15th time since taking office in 2002. It’s an annual speech that she and the rest of Alaska’s congressional delegation deliver to update members of the Legislature on work in Washington, D.C.

Beyond laying out her priorities on energy and land management, Murkowski also addressed what she referred to as the “elephant in the room,” referring to the process underway in Congress to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.”

Read more here: http://www.ktva.com/murkowski-vows-no-vote-repealing-medicaid-expansion-defunding-planned-parenthood-953/

Fairbank News Miner: In letter to Congress, Gov. Walker urges caution in changing health care law

FAIRBANKS — Gov. Bill Walker is urging Congress to take its time to come up with a balanced replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Walker shared his concerns and advice with congressional leaders in a letter earlier this month, noting that a repeal without a “workable alternative” would leave tens of thousands of Alaskans without coverage.

Walker wrote that 17,000 Alaskans are buying coverage through the individual marketplace. An additional 27,000 Alaskans, including nearly 3,000 in the Interior, are covered through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision, which Walker enacted unilaterally after his election.

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Juneau Empire: An open letter to Alaska’s Congressional delegation

Social Security is just what it says. I have been paying into it for years. It is mine; not yours to do with what you deem politically expedient. And for that matter you can pay me back, with interest, all of the money that has been taken from Social Security to pay for other parts of the government.

I pay for my health insurance every month. It is called Medicare. As far as I can tell, you don’t pay for yours. I do. I also pay for your wages and that makes me your boss.

Two of my sons have “pre-existing conditions” and before the Affordable Care Act would have made health insurance either impossible or prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, Medicaid expansion under ACA has paid for medical care for a severe eye infection that has left one of them almost blind and unable to work. I also have fishermen friends who have been able to get somewhat affordable insurance on the ACA exchange. What exactly are they supposed to do?

What part of climate change and ocean acidification do you not understand? After all you represent Alaska where it is becoming more obvious every day. I kind of like oysters, crabs and the seafood that depend on a healthy ph level in our oceans. Not to mention that these things are a tremendous economic driver in our state.

Alaska is home to great national parks. Is this congress and administration going to compromise the care of the environment to the point that we may no longer have these critical flora and fauna habitats for the future study and pleasure of this planet?

What exactly do you not get about Planned Parenthood? Planned or Parenthood? This program exists largely to prevent unwanted pregnancies, not to end them.

What about international relations? The last thing this planet needs is a know-nothing hothead who tweets his way into trouble daily. You can continue to support him or you can do something about it.

I could go on and on, but you get the point; or at least I hope you do. If you don’t, there are thousands of Alaskans and millions of people worldwide who could help you. That was made more than crystal clear by the marches this week. These marches were not aimed solely at the disaster who somehow ended up our “President”. They were aimed at you. And you had better pay attention. We are watching.

Sue Oliphant

Juneau

http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2017-01-25/letter-open-letter-alaska-s-congressional-delegation

AK Public Media: From Paying $1,000 A Month For Health Care To $100

A Juneau woman says getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act means she’ll take better care of herself. Prior to January 1st, Bonnie Berg was paying up to $1000 a month for health insurance. Now, she’s paying less than $100.

Bonnie Berg spent most of her professional career working in social services. She always had insurance through her job and when she retired in August 2010, she kept it through COBRA.

“I was paying about a $1000 a month, and about $250 each quarter for my basic meds. So in other words, it was costing me $13,000 a year just for the dead basics,” she explains.

After 18 months on COBRA, Berg switched to a catastrophic plan, which cost $526 each month. She paid close to $900 every quarter for two asthma medications. Her deductible was $5,000.

In the 40 months since retirement, Berg went to the doctor only twice. “I wasn’t willing to pay for any tests on my own. I wasn’t willing to do anything the doctor really wanted me to do, unless I was having an episode,” Berg says. “I probably allowed myself the worse medical care of my life at the time I was paying huge prices.”

Read the full article here: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/01/29/from-paying-1000-a-month-for-health-care-to-100/

Juneau Empire: Protesters Rally Against ACA Repeal Outside Capital

A little more than two dozen protesters gathered across from the Alaska State Capitol Thursday to call attention to the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and to urge state legislators to have a replacement plan in place.

University of Alaska student group “What’s The Plan!?!” and other organizations rallied as part of the Protect Our Care Alaska coalition to send a message to elected leaders in Juneau and Washington, D.C. that “Alaskans want a clear plan for our health care system, not political games.”

“What’s the Plan?!?!” is actually the name of a campaign launched by University of Alaska Anchorage students. Political science major Mark Simon told Alaska Public Media he’s alarmed that Congress is already taking steps toward repeal.

Read the full article here: http://juneauempire.com/local/2017-01-27/protesters-rally-against-aca-repeal-outside-capitol

Alaska Native News: What's The Plan?

Anchorage, Alaska– Today, University of Alaska students sent a clear message to the Alaskan Congressional Delegation that repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement proposal would be disastrous to Alaskans.

A student group called What’s The Plan? has launched, including Republicans and Democrats, students whose families bought health insurance for the first time through the exchange, students who are on medicaid, part-time students on medicaid, and students who rely on the opportunity to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they are twenty-six.

What’s The Plan? is circulating an online petition via email and facebook asking Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Congressman Young to refuse to repeal our current healthcare system without a clear plan for replacement.

Read the full article here: http://alaska-native-news.com/whats-the-plan-26006

KTOO Public Media: For self-employed Alaskans, Affordable Care Act makes a difference

New figures from the Obama administration show more than 6,500 Alaskans have enrolled in insurance plans on healthcare.gov. The deadline to sign up is March 31st. And that has prompted many Alaskans to bite the bullet and figure out what the Affordable Care Act means for them. For some commercial fishermen and others who are self-employed, what they’ve found has been a pleasant surprise.

Back in 2012, when the Supreme Court upheld most of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, Wendy Alderson hoped the ruling would mean good things for her family.

“I know what I would hope that it would do for us, and I hope that it would basically just bring down the cost of our health insurance,” Alderson said, in an interview with KCAW in June 2012, right after the Supreme Court decision cleared the way for the Affordable Care Act to go into effect.

Read the full article here: http://www.ktoo.org/2014/03/13/for-self-employed-alaskans-affordable-care-act-makes-a-difference/