Alaskans Testify On Governor’s Medicaid Expansion Bill

Lawmakers took public testimony for the first time Thursday on Governor Bill Walker’s bill to expand Medicaid. The public spoke during the last 30 minutes of the House Health and Social Services committee’s hearing on HB 148.

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Nearly everyone spoke in favor of Medicaid expansion. The committee heard from a youth pastor, a small business owner and the head of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association.

Juneau resident Alyson Currey told the committee she is a social worker who too often sees clients who have to make do without health care:

“It is an injustice to me that today if you’re a childless adult without a disability in Alaska making less than $20,000 a year, which equals to just under $10 an hour, you have no affordable health care coverage available to you.”

The Committee plans to spend a lot more time taking public testimony on Medicaid expansion at a hearing this Saturday, starting at 3pm.

Most local Legislative Information Offices will be open around the state to allow people to testify outside of Juneau.

This story is part of a reporting partnership between APRN, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Annie Feidt is the broadcast managing editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Annie here

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