FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2014, 8:00 AM
Contact: Kevin D. McGee, (907) 441-2137
Governor's Report Demonstrates Depth of His Own Insensitivity
Parnell Denies Health Care to Thousands with Medicaid Rejection
ANCHORAGE: Governor Parnell's own report on Alaskans without health care confirms that he was wrong to deny expansion of Medicaid. Even as it attempts (and fails) to minimize health care shortcomings in Alaska, Parnell's report reflects that thousands will be denied care as a result of his rejection of Medicaid. The report also makes the absurd suggestion that ad hoc charity care is a reasonable substitute for reliable health coverage.
"This report suggests Governor Parnell is completely out of touch with the realities working families face as they try to find health care," said Kevin McGee, 1st Vice President and Chairman, Political Action Committee of the Anchorage NAACP.
Governor Parnell's report says 12,000 Alaskans lack health coverage, particularly care for serious illnesses which is an apparent attempt to diminish the size of the problem. By contrast, non-partisan data from Legislative Research Services suggests that nearly 1 in 5 Alaskans -- some 140,000 people -- have lacked health insurance between 2008 and 2012.
The non-partisan Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium study of Medicaid expansion found that simply accepting federal funding for Medicaid would extend health coverage to 41,500 Alaskans while creating 4,000 new jobs and $2.49 billion of new economic activity.
Parnell's study not only underestimates the magnitude of the problem, but also pretends that emergency room services and ad hoc charity is a reasonable substitute for reliable health insurance.
The non-partisan Legislative Research report found that nearly 1 in 2 low income Alaskans between 18 and 64 years old lacks health insurance.