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Governor Directs Legal Review and Policy Analysis of Health Care Legislation

December 31, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today directed Alaska's attorney general and the Department of Law to review health care legislation being considered by Congress. The governor has also requested the commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services and the director of state/federal relations to update the state's previous policy analysis of pending health care legislation. 

"Forcing citizens to purchase health insurance is not only bad policy, it may raise serious legal and constitutional issues," Governor Parnell said. "I am also concerned over the federal government's imposition of long-term and inequitable Medicaid burdens on the states and the ambiguous treatment of the state's health insurance plan for employees under federal legislation."

The State of Alaska has joined a growing number of states in expressing concern about legal and constitutional issues with the Senate bill, which is still under consideration in Congress. The House and Senate will try to resolve the differences between their respective bills when Congress returns in January.

Governor Parnell previously expressed concerns that the pending legislation will increase costs for Alaska's seniors, families, small businesses and physicians' practices, and place significant pressure on the state's general fund budget.

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