Statement from Alaska Chamber on Medicaid expansion

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February 06, 2015
Anchorage, AK – Alaska businesses will pay for uninsured Alaskans through the proposed Medicaid expansion or through increased health care costs. The Alaska Chamber supports Medicaid expansion for this reason. The Chamber’s support for Medicaid expansion ends when the federal funding ends or falls below its initial promise. Our support also ends if expansion exacerbates the State’s fiscal situation.

The Chamber’s top priority this year is reducing State spending. Alaskans agree it’s time for the State to do what we as individuals and Alaska businesses do every day – live within our means. We support limiting total FY 2016 unrestricted General Fund spending to $4.5 billion or less, and believe State budget reserves should be used to aid in the transition to a sustainable budget.

Medicaid expansion must go hand in hand with Medicaid reform, limiting the State’s fiscal liability today and for future generations. Alaska’s Medicaid program is a key driver of State spending and is currently on an unsustainable path. Our current Medicaid system provides coverage not required by the Federal government. In fact, such optional services cost $481 million in FY 2013. The Chamber views the State’s fiscal situation as an opportunity to right size Alaska’s Medicaid program to put it on a more sustainable path.
 
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About the Alaska Chamber
The Alaska Chamber, a private, non-profit corporation, operating since 1952, works to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. The Alaska Chamber is the voice of small and large business across the state with a Board of Directors comprised of 80 members representing all regions of the state. For more information visit alaskachamber.com.
 
Contact:
Brandy Dixon, Communications and Events Director
bdixon@alaskachamber.com, (907) 278-2727