Begich, Sullivan talk health care with State of Reform | “Lies, damned lies, and polls” | ICYMI: Oct 9th

In two weeks, the 2014 General Election will conclude after one of the more interesting campaign seasons in some time.  To the candidates, we wish you all the best of luck.  To the voters, we wish you good memory – so you don’t forget to cast your ballot!

Between now and then, we’ve collected some health care insights from the US Senate candidates below – among the 5 Things We’re Watching this month in Alaskan health care.

1. Interview:  Mark Begich on health care

Begich:  “Everyone in their life, at some point, the rest of the community will be taking care of them, because that’s the way the system works.”

We were honored to have US Senator Mark Begich join us as our Afternoon Keynote Speaker at our October 9th event.  You can see a summary of his remarks, as well as the full recording of his comments (with questions), here.

2. Interview: Dan Sullivan on health care

Sullivan: “The model that Obamacare is, which a top-down approach with the federal government dictating plans, budgets, and outcomes is not one that is working… and that’s why one of the things I will do as a U.S. Senator is…work to implement reforms that bring us back the model of freedom.”

Dan Sullivan graciously agreed to join us for an interview in what were his most extensive comments on health care of the 2014 campaign. We’ve posted them in their entirety here.


3. Moda may propose pilot to drive reform in Medicaid

While the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group is meeting for the sixth time today, it looks like the market may be outpacing it. Moda Health’s Robin Richardson spoke at our October conference and discussed proposing a pilot project for the state’s consideration.

The pilot would include Alaska Regional Hospital as the tertiary hospital, with a non-Anchorage community hospital serving as the backbone provider in the community. Moda would contract with DHSS to manage care in a shared savings, risk contract.

It would be a major shift in how Alaska approaches Medicaid, if the pilot takes off, and one which could potentially result in significant savings from the current $11,000 per Medicaid beneficiary spend.

4. Watching the polls in Senate, Governor races

Four election polls have been released since Friday, all of which demonstrate the challenge of polling in Alaska. Historically, polls are off an average of 7.2% from the final Alaskan election.

In the Senate race, the range of poll results goes from Begich up 10% to Sullivan up 4%. While the smartest guy in electoral prognostication has Begich’s chance of winning at 34%, the New York Times reports that 43% of voters say they’ve been contacted by the Begich campaign. That’s a huge number and something that may not show up in polls until Election Day.

In the governor’s race, October polls have ranged from Walker up 9% to Parnell up 6% – where health care has been one of the most prominent issues of the election. This race could become one of the national surprises of 2014.


5. ICYMI: What State of Reform looked like this Year

With more than 60 speakers, there was a lot going on at this year’s State of Reform Health Policy Conference. If you missed it, you can re-live it vicariously through the wonders of the internet!

Here you’ll find presentations collected from many of our agenda speakers. And, if you’d like to watch our keynote presentations, you can always find them here.