Sullivan Applauds State Innovation Waiver for Alaska
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today commended the Trump Administration – including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma – for working with the State of Alaska to grant a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. The state applied for the waiver following legislation signed by Governor Bill Walker last year which appropriated $55 million to the Alaska Reinsurance Program in order to reduce spiraling health insurance costs. The waiver will provide Alaskans and the state temporary relief while Congress continues to debate a longer-term solution. The federal government will reimburse the state roughly $48 million next year. For the following four years, that number is expected to increase based on enrollment in the individual market.
“I appreciate Secretary Price and Administrator Verma for working with the state – unlike the previous Administration – to address the high cost of health insurance in Alaska,” said Senator Sullivan. “I also want to applaud the Director of the Division of Insurance Lori Wing-Heier for all of her hard work as well as the Alaska Legislature for passing the reinsurance bill that paved the way for this waiver.
“While the expected decrease in premiums for Alaskans following the waiver will be welcome news, we still have much work to do to provide affordable health care for all Alaskans. As I’ve told my Senate colleagues and the Trump Administration repeatedly, Alaskans are paying the highest costs for healthcare and health insurance in the country – costs that have increased 203 percent since 2013. Providing maximum flexibility to the states, instead of the one-size-fits-all model of the Affordable Care Act, must be a critical element of any healthcare bill we pass in Congress.”