Senators Critical of Proposed Dept. of Health Regulation Changes
ANCHORAGE – Today Senators Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) and Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) submitted a letter to Commissioner of Health and Social Services William Streur urging the department to withdraw proposed regulation changes in 7 AAC 160.900(30).
“At the core of this issue there exists a simple question: should the state intervene in a medical decision between a woman and her doctor? The Senate took up this debate last session and an amendment investing in family planning to prevent unintended pregnancies passed the Senate. This proposed regulation change undermines the will of the Senate and a recent Legislative Legal Services opinion suggests the changes are unconstitutional,” stated Senator Gardner.
The proposal by the Department to add additional language via a checklist with 23 specific diseases to the “medically necessary” form an Alaskan physician must currently fill out serves only one purpose: to deny more women the ability to make decisions about their medical future. This stands in stark contrast to the amendment offered (and passed) by Senator Gardner during the first session of the 28th Legislature protecting family planning services for unintended pregnancies.
Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage) sent a separate letter to Commissioner Streur concerning the constitutional questions surrounding the implementation of these regulations and the potential substantial legal liability for the State of Alaska.
Link to Senator Gardner and Ellis’s letter here:
Link to Senator French’s letter here:
For more information, please contact Thomas Presley in Senator Gardner’s office at (907) 269-0174.