Alaska Center for Public Policy Legislative Priority Survey: Brief Report
A couple of weeks ago, Alaska Center for Public Policy initiated a survey to learn what policies our readers hoped the Legislature would address in this session. Fifty-two people responded, identifying a total of about 98 primary issues. Following is a brief report based on the responses we received.
Given Alaska Center for Public Policy's health policy bent, it was not surprising that health policy issues -- cost, care, and access -- were cited more frequently than were other issues. Within that category, access to affordable care, in some form or another, took the number one spot -- 43 of the 98 identified concerns.
"The state has not taken responsibility for moving ahead with 'Obamacare.'"
"Health care is more inaccessible than ever. 'Public' health now charges for everything."
"Health: Medicaid expansion, public health, health-related bills and funding."
Concerns about specific types of health care were also a hot topic.
"Alaskans need accessible, affordable, adequate mental health care."
"Alaska has the fastest growing senior population in the country but we do not have adequate long term care services, or enough home and community based services in the urban an rural areas to keep seniors living independently for as long as possible."
Some responses were really specific.
"We need to have more affordable treatment for opiate addicts."
"Funding for comprehensive obesity programs, coverage for colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy) of retired state employees."
"Substance abuse and violence treatment."
Concerns about the economy were addressed 24 times in the responses. The majority (12) were about gas, oil, and renewable resources. Growing the economy -- in the form of agriculture, natural resource management, and transportation infrastructure -- was also mentioned several times. Fiscal planning was the third most often cited concern about the economy.
"I would like to see our state's resource revenues invested in public assets and improvements that will provide ongoing benefits to Alaskans in the form of broader and safer transportation options."
"Expansion of renewable energy within the state; oil tax reform that benefits Alaska"
"[W]orried there won't be much revenue if they do an oil tax giveaway."
Rounding out the issues identified in the responses are the environment, education, and concerns for Alaskans.
"[L]egislation to list hazardous chemicals in products and phase them out, particularly those in children's products."
"[E]ducation beyond preparing people to work for oil companies and existing economic powerful businesses."
"It will soon be impossible to keep my home because of the heating fuel costs."
Clearly, readers of Alaska Center for Public Policy's publications are a thoughtful group of people. We were impressed with the passion behind the responses, obvious even through the medium of an electronic survey. Your responses will help guide future publications and conversations.
To those of you who responded affirmatively to my query about submitting original research, articles, links, or other information for possible use in Alaska Center for Public Policy publications, I will be contacting you soon. If you can't wait, feel free to email me or call 907-276-2277. Thank you all for your responses.
Thank you to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts.
Alaska Center for Public Policy offers a special legislative session rate for the subscription-based Alaska Health Policy Review. The electronic newsletter features a bill tracking section so you can stay informed about the status of bills just by opening your email! Other features include interviews with health policy makers, original and reprinted health policy research, and a calendar of health policy-related events.
All for the special rate of $425! Discounts are available for multiple recipients in the same organization, legislators, and small nonprofit organizations.
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