FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2014, 9:00 AM
Contact: Kevin D. McGee, (907) 441-2137
Anchorage NAACP Urges Action on Medicaid Expansion
Supports Walker Administration Efforts to Expand Coverage and Lower Costs
ANCHORAGE: The Anchorage NAACP has endorsed Governor Walker's effort to accept federal Medicaid expansion funding. Federally-funded Medicaid expansion comes at a crucial time for Alaska, as it can reduce the growth in health costs, expand health coverage, and blunt the negative economic impact of budget deficits and declining oil prices. Medicaid expansion has become even more important as it would bring billions of dollars into Alaska at a time when the state confronts budget deficits and falling oil prices.
"Thank God Bill Walker now has the opportunity to expand Medicaid. Simply accepting this federal investment is vital to lower Alaskans' health care costs, expand health care coverage, and bring much-needed economic development to our state," said Kevin McGee, 1st Vice President and Political Action Chairman of the Anchorage NAACP.
Medicaid Expansion Addresses Key Health, Economic Challenges:
•Data from across the U.S. shows that Medicaid expansion can lower health costs, and that lack of Medicaid expansion traps consumers with higher insurance costs. After Parnell failed to expand Medicaid and failed to conduct oversight of insurance companies, Alaskans faced the highest-in-the-nation cost increases. Now Walker has an opportunity to bring down the cost of health care with Medicaid expansion, reversing damage done by Parnell.
•Medicaid expansion could expand health coverage to some 41,500 Alaskans, according to the ANTHC. This reform will improve Alaskans health, save hundreds of Alaskans per year from premature death, and reduce the number of babies born prematurely.
•Medicaid expansion will bring billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs to Alaska, according to the ANTHC. This economic development is vital at a time when budget deficits and falling oil prices have imperiled Alaska's economy.