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Governor Issues Statement on Health Care Ruling Clarification

March 3, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today issued the following statement on U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's clarification of his January 31 ruling that struck down the entire federal health care reform law:

"I appreciate and respect Judge Vinson's careful consideration of this issue, which affects all Americans. Judge Vinson's clarification today made clear that he believes the law is unconstitutional and that his original ruling was an injunction and should have halted the federal government's implementation.

"Now Judge Vinson has issued a stay, which will be lifted in seven days should the Obama administration not pursue an appeal. What this means for Alaska is that our administration will treat the federal health care law as being in place, as we are directed by the judge in the lawsuit to which our state was a party.

"Going forward, Alaska will make decisions on a case-by-case basis whether the state will undertake with our own money or with federal money how to implement the provisions of the law. My sole responsibility is to act in Alaska's best interests and we will do so. I continue to strongly prefer to use state resources for state-based health care solutions to increase access and improve affordability, rather than become more entangled.

"I particularly appreciate Judge Vinson's request that appeals be fast-tracked so our states can move forward with certainty."

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