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Regulatory Review Chairs Support Department of Health & Social Services Strengthening Regulations on Elective Abortions

Friday, September 13, 2013, Eagle River, Alaska – Co-Chairs of the Administrative Regulatory Committee Representative Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, and Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/North Kenai, today announced their strong support of the Department of Health and Social Services new regulations which will help ensure state funds are only used for medically necessary abortions.

The regulations will revise the Certificate to Request Federal or State Funds for Abortion prior to a provider qualifying payment for an abortion procedure under Medicaid funds. In addition, the regulations clarify the vague term “medically necessary” by providing a list of specific medically necessary conditions that will be considered.  

“We have the responsibility to ensure that state spending is conducted in an efficient and responsible manner,” Reinbold said. “It is of utmost importance that regulations are tightened to ensure that state funds are only used for medically necessary care and not used for an elective procedure.”

Giessel, who has extensive experience in the medical field, said, “As a healthcare provider for 35 years, I would never support getting between a provider and patient.  I respect that relationship. However, I support the regulations defining medically necessary conditions, which would require state Medicaid funds to pay for the abortion.

“While I understand the concerns of Planned Parenthood of Alaska and physicians who perform abortions, these proposed regulations ensure that Medicaid funds remain available to pay for medically necessary abortions, but cannot be used for elective abortions. This is not about restricting abortion procedures.  It’s about who pays for it.”

Public comment on these regulations will be open until September 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

For more information contact Rep. Reinbold’s office at 907-622-8950.

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