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Governor Parnell Expresses Health Care Concerns to Delegation

January 14, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska - As final passage of federal health care legislation nears, Governor Sean Parnell once again urged Alaska's congressional delegation to consider the impacts the bill will have on Alaskans.

In a letter to the delegation, Governor Parnell emphasized his concerns about a requirement for citizens to purchase health insurance, unfair treatment of the states, and unfunded Medicaid mandates that would strain the state's budget.

"The current health care reform legislation before Congress is troubling on several levels," Governor Parnell said. "For the many Alaskans currently unable to afford insurance, the proposal, as outlined by Congress, will do nothing but mandate they purchase it, while increasing the insurance premiums. I am particularly concerned with cost increases for Alaska's seniors, families, small businesses, and physicians. Beyond this burden, which is placed squarely on the shoulders of Alaskans, the legislation will put a significant strain on the State of Alaska's General Fund budget."

Governor Parnell also noted the federal legislation does little to address Alaska's health care workforce shortage.  

Earlier this week, Governor Parnell and 19 Republican governors and governors-elect sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to refocus and pass "meaningful health care reform, not hastily prepared partisan legislation which omits reform and saddles American taxpayers for generations to come."

Copies of Governor Parnell's letter to Alaska's congressional delegation and the letter to congressional leaders are available at:
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/HealthCareReformLetter_Jan13-2010.pdf

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