What They’re Watching: Sen. Cathy Giessel


Shane Ersland


Sen. Cathy Giessel, Alaska Senate majority leader, said the biggest issue in healthcare policy in the state is cost of care. 

“I’m particularly focused on the cost of pharmaceuticals, but it’s much bigger than that. It’s generally the cost of care. I would add to that it’s also the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals on all levels. One of the bills I have would actually license professional counselor associates. These are the folks that graduate, and then have to have two years of mentoring before they can actually be licensed. That two-year period, they are not reimbursed for services, and yet they’re providing critical services in behavioral health. This bill would license them and allow that reimbursement, as well as refine that mentoring time period so it’s more productive for them.”

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