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State of Alaska Will Not Apply for Healthcare Grants

Audio Comments regarding Healthcare Grants

February 17, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell announced today Alaska will not apply for federal grants to implement health insurance exchanges, in the wake of a judge's ruling that the health care reform act is unconstitutional.

"The Florida court's declaratory judgment that the federal health care law is unconstitutional is the 'law of the land' as it applies to Alaska, and we will not proceed down an unlawful course to implement it," Governor Parnell said.

"Supporters of government mandates in health care want Alaskans to conclude that if we don't take the federal money that somehow we are not moving forward with health care initiatives in this state. That is false. The federal government's 'one size fits all' health care mandates may have ended with the Florida court decision, but we will continue working to reshape our health care system to fit the unique needs of Alaskans."

The State Division of Insurance is reviewing the potential for developing a health insurance exchange without federal dollars. The division is evaluating data and software applications that could be used to create an Internet portal to provide better insurance information and more health care access.

Governor Parnell has directed the Department of Health and Social Services to work with providers on chronic care management and primary care access for Alaska's most vulnerable citizens. The commissioner will also work to streamline enrollment for existing public assistance programs and increase efficiency by utilizing telemedicine and electronic health records.

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