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October 2, 2014

Parnell Hides Medicaid Study

Rising Cost of Healthcare

 

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. We all know that.

But there’s a big community here that often gets overlooked. It encompasses 10,000 more people than the populations of either Fairbanks or Juneau. It has 36,000 more people than Homer. Eighty times the population of Aniak.

And who populates this would-be second-largest community in Alaska? The 41,500 uninsured Alaskans who would benefit from a state expansion of Medicaid.

Contrary to a popular stereotype, these are not people who loaf and live on the dole. For the most part, they are men and women who work hard for not much money — the “working poor.” With minimum wage jobs, maybe more than one, they do their best to support their families.

This is not a community with political connections. They don’t hire lobbyists. They can’t afford to fly to Juneau to bend the ears of legislators. (No matter. They couldn’t take the time off anyway.)

Often these aren’t workers whose employers pay livable wages, offer health care, provide something for retirement. They are ones who start out behind and struggle not to lose ground. They are employees who can be replaced tomorrow without a second thought.

If you think the Wal-Marts of America feel ethically or morally compelled to take care of these low-rung employees, employees who help keep their owners in the billionaires club, guess again. Isn’t happening. Won’t ever happen by choice.

Instead, they are more likely to whine about paying taxes to provide their former and future employees food stamps, low-income housing and federally mandated health care. (Of course it’s all Obama’s fault. If he weren’t president, there’d be pork loins falling from the sky, and senior management positions with Cadillac health insurance for everyone who could fog a mirror — as long as they have a good attitude and patience. Lots and lots of patience.)

Believing that nonsense is what absolves some people from any sense of responsibility as they watch prosperous companies enrich themselves by transferring their labor costs onto the rest of us. No health care for workers means bigger dividends for stockholders. It’s what the Founding Fathers intended!

The uber-right says, let the free market sort it out. Sure, I can see how that would be comfort enough for a single parent with a sick child.

In Alaska there is one person who can literally change the lives of these folks with the stroke of a pen. That would be Sean Parnell, our governor. Sometime soon he will decide whether or not to expand Medicaid to cover those 41,500 Alaskans.

Should he? Let’s hope he asks these questions before deciding:

Would it improve the health of Alaskans? Create jobs? Improve our economy?

Several comprehensive studies have considered those questions. The Alaska Native Health Consortium commissioned one, titled “Healthier Alaskans Create A Healthier State Economy.” It estimated that within five years of an expansion our overall death rate would decrease by 6.1 percent. That’s one death prevented for each 176 newly covered residents. Will preventing the deaths of hundreds of Alaskans seem like a good investment to our “pro-life” governor? I’m not betting on it.

From a moral and ethical perspective, Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer. That’s why the Anchorage Faith & Action — Congregations Together produced a brochure about Medicare expansion. (“When I was sick, you denied me affordable health care” isn’t exactly in lockstep with the Bible.)

Over the next four years a Medicaid expansion would create 3,500 new jobs in Alaska and generate annual wages of $180 million. It would create billions of dollars in economic activity here.

The federal government will pay 100 percent of the initial cost of expansion, and 90 percent thereafter.

That’s why the Alaska Chamber of Commerce made Medicaid expansion a top priority. Businessmen know a good deal when they see one.

The governor knows all this. And he has the benefit of his own $80,000 study, which he refuses to make it public — even though that’s the law. He won’t give it to legislators, much less us lowly citizens.

What doesn’t he want us to know? My bet is the new report says the same thing the others have: expanding Medicaid will improve our health and our economy. And yet the governor just can’t seem to make up his mind. Is he trying to figure out which choice is better for his political career?

Alaskans are sick of politics as usual. Just like the rest of the country. Let’s hope this is one decision in which common sense, smart policy and basic human decency trump politics.

It really is a no-brainer.

[This article is cross-posted at The Anchorage Daily News]

 

Comments

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Comments
40 Responses to “Parnell Hides Medicaid Study”
  1. The Kid says:

    That is not the only thing he is hiding…isn’t that right Sean…how’s that working for you? Ready for Geneva?

  2. mike from iowa says:

    For all you hopeless romantics out there,the rut is almost upon us in iowa. I watched three whitetail bucks running around a corn field with their noses plastered to the ground and you know what that means. Yup,pretty soon these dummies will be dancing and you know what that means. Yup,in about six months the world will be re-populated with varmints that eat garden veggies and field crops with abandon. Ain’t love grand? Notice-no flowers or candy were distributed to the fairer sex during this post. I doubt if the words love and/or commitment were uttered,either.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/guns-ammo-editorial-controversy-203042117.html

    Guns and Ammo magazine calls for gun control. Nutjobs declare war on themselves.

    • mike from iowa says:

      The editor who wrote this article apparently does not possess 1st amendment rights and was summarily fired for his insolence.

  4. mike from iowa says:

    Snowdog Snoozy hits the warpath today or tomorrow to promote the war on christmas diatribe. Ho-hum. Expect Chinook winds in the next few days as the hot air pounds us godless libruls,wherever we are. You has been warned. Feel free to ignore this at you convenience. That is all. Repeat,that is all.

  5. mike from iowa says:

    Iceland is the Numero Uno place in the world to have a…..wait for it…………uterus! That country believes and practices equality of the sexes and also their leader is a………..Lesbian!!. Alaska’s governing chumps could learn valuable lessons from Iceland except they are too stoopid and set in their misogynist ways to learn. In comparison,the exceptional USA is a paltry 23rd.

  6. mike from iowa says:

    From what I have been able to find about the study,it doesn’t sound like Parnell wanted information to make a decision,rather it sounds like he was interested in validating a pre-conceived position. His mind? is probably already made up.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Other problem here is his broad use of executive privilege to tuck the study under wraps. and deny FOIA requests. Tired of that too…
      Only way I know to counter that is for someone(s) to sue for release and have a court decide if it matches EP criteria… now, like we everyday people have got the $$s , time, and expertise to do that… Pfft!
      I am so sick and frickin tired of Governor Torpedo and his patriarchal , smarmy administration!

      • tigerwine says:

        Don’t hold back, Pi, say what you mean! (How ya doin’?)

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Hey!!! Waving wildly! How are you ?!
          This doof and his states rights routine has opened the old, old wound again :

          http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/petition110413.pdf

          So while he hides behind executive privilege on the one hand, he goes after subsistence on the national front. You betcha, let’s resurrect the Katie John case. Pfffttt!
          Do we really, really want him out there torpedoing every small gain made and building an ever higher wall for everyday people to surmount to effect any meaningful response to citizen concerns?
          Hell no!!!!
          (sorry AKM, I’ll go away now and wash my mouth out with soap… )

  7. slipstream says:

    The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature in Mt. View has just installed a (replica) pterosaur.

    The museum is asking for help naming the 80 million year old dinosaur.

    I vote for “Sean.”

    http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/pterosaur-soars-in-mt-view-name-an-80-million-old-dinosaur/-/21043658/22786862/-/p8869wz/-/index.html

    • Zyxomma says:

      I would second that motion, my dear slipstream, but for the fact that I have known some wonderful men named Sean. How about “Seanparnell?”

      • slipstream says:

        Or maybe “Parnellasaurus screwthepoorus” ?

        • Alaska Pi says:

          that’s it!!!

          • mike from iowa says:

            So what am I doing with yellow butterflies and a honey bee in my yard on Nov. 4 with rain/snow mix tomorrow and light snow the day after? About a half-mile S.E. of me across the next section is a pile of shiny pipes and some heavy equipment. Looks to be the first of a couple hundred wind turbines going up in thie township.Yesterday we had 40 to 50 mph SE wind and today we are in the fifties again. Weird weather,even for iowa.

            • Alaska Pi says:

              butterflies and honeybees in Nov?! with snow on the way? holy moley! Iowa has the goofiest weather I ever heard of!
              we finally had a real hard frost and then some snow this morning.
              I have a fancy lupine (tucked into a sheltered spot in the garden) which has thrown up a bloom stalk and is doing its very best to open its pretty pink and white flowers here at the beginning of winter.
              Silly, silly plant but very lovely flower …I wonder if the seed came from iowa :-)

              • mike from iowa says:

                http://www.seedsavers.org/onlinestore/Flower-Seeds/

                I checked seed savers exchange website and they only carry Tall Russell Lupine so I doubt that seed come from iowa. OTH,the exchange is only six miles from Decorah and it would be fun to visit the place and then go see the Decorah eagles and their famous eagle camera. While down there a person could slip into Missouri,buy cheaper cigarettes and firecrackers and smuggle themback to iowa. :) :)

              • mike from iowa says:

                In the interest of full disclosure.I badly misplaced Decorah or Missouri or both. I’, an idiot. :(

              • Alaska Pi says:

                nah. Anyone who pointed to that cool seedsavers place is not an idiot. :-)
                Gov Torpedo and his foodling around with ideological horsepunky in the form of playing games with Medicaid expansion- now there’s an idiot for ya…

            • slipstream says:

              No snow on the roads yet in the Anchorage area. We usually have the white stuff by Halloween, so any day in November with clear roads is a bonus day. Winter this year is at least four days late starting . . . important to remember that in April when we are hoping for it to end.

              • Alaska Pi says:

                :-) so very very true…
                snow is gone today here at sea level and has retreated up the mountains to about 800 feet… we’re starting our rain, snow, rain snow thingy here which usually ends with a big snow of 2 feet or more . I love the snow. Ice? Pfffttt!

        • Zyxomma says:

          I agree wholeheartedly, slipstream. Parnellasaurus screwthepoorus it is!

    • beth. says:

      {like} all four of the above.

      I was thinking of pterosean (pronounced: terror-sean), but slip’s “Parnellasaurus screwthepoorus” is so much more accurate. beth.

  8. CorningNY says:

    Actually, it’s Parnell who’s the no-brainer, for sure.

  9. thatcrowwoman says:

    Governor Voldemort refused medicaid expansion here in Florida, also, too.
    A$$hat.
    Wasn’t above massive medicare fraud before he got elected. Can Charlie Crist beat him? Will it really matter? Time will tell.

  10. Zyxomma says:

    Obviously, the $80,000 $P (version 2.0) spent on the latest study was not his own money, but that of Alaskans. How the eff can he keep the study results secret? Are any of your legislators trying to get the results? What gives?

  11. juneaudream says:

    Under what law/laws..is ..great and caring ..Gov. Man..covering his butkus..as he..’non-releases’..the report? There must be something..not yet..discovered..or it would have been..released. Why not have a collition of folks..24 hours a day..taking 2 to 3 hour shifts..in front of his living space..all holding..the one and ..ONLY sign..asking about this? Publicity..would be..generated..in ..short order..I do think.

  12. mike from iowa says:

    Walmart,Micky D’s and possibly other large korporations have officers who direct employees to federal programs for foodstamps and Medicaid. This costs taxpayers around 7 billion bucks a year(I will see if I can refind the report).Somewhere around 700 to 900 thousand U.S. veterans and their families rely on the SNAP program which was just cut. Pols decided the voiceless,least among us can afford to do with less so they don’t have to impose upon the wealthy or their godless consciences the idea of higher taxes. Once again Shannyn has managed to kick Parnell and nutjobs where it hurts them the second most-in the balls. Good job as usual. Don’t waste time trying to shame nutters,it can’t be done.

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