What They’re Watching: Rep. Sharon Jackson

Rep. Sharon Jackson represents Alaska’s House District 13, and was sworn in on January 17, 2019. Jackson is a member of the House Health & Social Services Committee, the Health & Social Services Finance Subcommittee, as well as the Military & Veterans’ Affairs Committee. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss direct health care services and payment plans.

 

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“The biggest thing I am watching in health care is the opportunity to have health care providers have direct services available for those with health care needs. There’s Senate Bill 92 that is allowing that direct doctor/patient care — where the patient pays so much a month to the doctor so that when they have medical needs, they can go in and not feel stressed financially about being seen. It’s happening around the country. Some call it a health care concierge, there’s different names for it, but it’s a great opportunity for our state. It’s a great opportunity for doctors to do what they do best without middle entities interfering with patients, where they can then give their patients their undivided attention.

I believe when people know that health care is available, they feel better. If you don’t have resources to health care, you’re sick all the time. So, we need to find a more innovative way to bring the health care services directly to the people and take the unnecessary stresses and pressures off so we can feel better as a people.

It’s just the way it is right now. We have health insurance, right? So, you have the doctor, the patient, and health insurance. Well, with SB 92, this will be a doctor-patient relationship and patients will make their payments directly to their doctors, verses through an insurance company. And we’ve heard of some doctors that are using this around the lower 48 and it was very interesting because they were saying even people on Medicaid found it more useful to pay the $25 – $35 a month so that they can get the care that they felt better in receiving. So, it is something that can help everyone if that is an option they choose to use. But it gives us another option.”

Note: We believe Rep. Jackson is referring to House Bill 92, rather than Senate Bill 92, but have left the transcript of her comments unedited.