Governor Walker’s Statement on Senate Health Care Bill
Governor Bill Walker released the following statement today on the discussion draft of the Senate Republican health care bill:
Alaskans pay the highest health care premiums in the country. In the Lower 48, a medical emergency typically means a $400 ambulance ride. In Alaska, it often means a $50,000 medevac. Access to affordable health care coverage is critical to provide necessary treatment resources to fight the state’s opioid epidemic. Access to affordable health care coverage is critical to building a Safer Alaska. Access to affordable health care coverage should be a nonpartisan issue.
Two years ago, I chose to expand Medicaid coverage. Since then, nearly 34,000 Alaskans have received life-saving care—and peace of mind knowing they have health care coverage. That should be protected.
My team and I are analyzing the newly-released discussion draft of the Senate Republican health care bill. Given the population size, vastness, and remote location of Alaska, I am deeply concerned about the potential effects of a one-size-fits-all approach. However, I am confident that Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan will do all they can to fight to protect Alaskans and our unique health care needs. My team and I will continue to work closely with members of our Congressional delegation to ensure Alaska’s voice is well-represented in upcoming negotiations.
On Monday, Governor Walker spoke with NPR’s Audie Cornish about Alaska’s unique health care needs. Click here to listen.