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May 9, 2021

The Economic Freedom to be Poor

New kids at my high school were rare. Most of us had been together since what felt like the beginning of time — and that wasn’t always a good thing. Remember the time Eric barfed in the lunch room? Yeah. Remember when the elastic in Kim’s sweatpants surrendered during fourth-grade dodgeball? She froze like a statue. New kids were suspect curiosities. It took a while to figure out if they were going to be one of “us.” I remember one in particular. He complained constantly about how lame Homer was. He was in town to live with his relatives for…

Pruitt – Medicaid Recipients Like “Children” With “Toy”

You may remember House Republican Majority Leader Lance Pruitt. You may not want to remember him, but there he is anyway. He’s the one who, on the floor of the legislature last session said it was important that we not let the American people believe that the United States Supreme Court was the final word, judicially. (let that sink in) Rep. Max Gruenberg, an attorney and person-who-must-have-taken-a-Government-101-class, gently informed him that YES the United States Supreme Court DOES, in fact, have the last word. Now, Pruitt has once again put his foot in his mouth – this time in an…

Parnell: Progressive Activist of the Year

We’re coming to the close of 2013, and top 10 lists are coming out of our ears. Top movies, albums, people (The pope! Time’s Person of the Year!). We seem to feel compelled to wrap up our year in nice little boxes. I have my own list I’d like to trot out. Hang on just a minute. Last week the governor released state revenue projections and his budget. His projections are based on the information oil companies give the state about how much of that sweet oil they plan to send down the pipeline. The administration takes those numbers and…

Parnell Rejects Healthcare Expansion

I spoke with several folks this week about what they expected Gov. Sean Parnell to do with his opportunity to expand Medicaid for Alaskans. Only one thought he would turn it down. Everyone else seemed to think he’d heed the plea of the chambers of commerce to support an expansion. The chamber isn’t exactly a communist cell, so I thought maybe its voice could reach the ear of our oil lobbyist-turned-oil politician. When Republican Gov. Jan Brewer accepted the expansion for Arizona, she attributed it to her ability to “weigh the evidence and do the math.” Surely, I thought, Parnell…

Parnell Hides Medicaid Study

  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…

Flaks, Facts & Intelligent Debate: Health Care in Alaska

Back on July 21, 2012, Shannyn Moore wrote a heartfelt essay on the State of Alaska’s reported consideration of the idea of sending some state-insured retirees outside for medical treatment. Moore is her mother’s primary support. That support would be missing, Moore pointed out, if her mother had to go Outside for treatment. In an attempted response, Commissioner Becky Hultberg of the Alaska Department of Administration wrote a Compass piece for the Daily News. Well, she is supposed to have written it. We’ll have to hope it was her press aide, who has since been disciplined. Because as a response…

Jesus Loves the Little Children – Governor Sean Parnell? Not So Much.

Sean Parnell, the man that his former boss Sarah Palin called a “brother in prayer” has made his priorities known.  Remember that favorite Sunday School hymn, “Jesus Loves the Little Children?” Remember how Jesus’ priorities were all about healing the sick, and helping the poor, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you?  Well, our born again Christian governor is just exactly NOT like that at all. Last year, Sean Parnell (and I am not making this up) vetoed a bill that would have provided Denali Kid Care (the state health program that gets 70% matching federal…

Palin’s Health Care Priorities and Alaska’s Daughters

Today, Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News has broken a story that adds another scandal to the growing list of  scandals that have plagued this administration, and shines the light on Alaska’s very own health care crisis.  Demer’s story centers on the horrendous condition of the Alaska’s state programs that are designed to help its most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and disabled. The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements. [snip] The moratorium is expected to last four or five months. State officials estimate…