Governor Walker’s Statement on Status of Health Care Reform Bill - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Governor Walker’s Statement on Status of Health Care Reform Bill

Emphasizes that work toward bipartisan solution must continue

September 26, 2017 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker issued the following statement today on the status of the health care reform bill:

“As Governor of Alaska, the state with the highest health care costs in the country, I have been working with members of the Trump Administration, our congressional delegation, and other governors to ensure that any health care bill is not only good policy, but also protects Alaskans.

“More than 36,000 Alaskans have access to affordable health care thanks to Medicaid expansion, and some health insurance premiums have dropped more than 26 percent due to the reinsurance program made possible through the innovation waiver granted by the Trump Administration under the existing health care law. In a state where a medical emergency often means a $50,000 medevac instead of a $400 ambulance ride, it’s critical that affordable coverage is protected.

“I sent the state’s top health care team to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with Administration officials to better understand the recent bill, and to vet the Alaska-specific proposals. My team worked tirelessly with both Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to deliver the message that Alaska truly is unique. That message was received. We appreciate that the Administration made numerous proposals with consideration for Alaska’s needs. These concepts are sound policy for all high-cost, low-population states—and we hope these concepts will be incorporated in future health care discussions.

“While work on this particular bill may have ended, the conversation about healthcare must not end. Status quo is not a long-term option. Alaskans will continue to be leaders on this issue, and I intend to convene my fellow governors to tackle health care reform in a bipartisan manner.” – Governor Bill Walker.

Read More: Governor Walker Issues Fourth Special Session Proclamation for October 23, 2017 to Enact a Flat Income Tax

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