September 23, 2013
716 W 4th Suite 540
Anchorage, AK 99501
State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
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Governor Parnell's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at
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Senator Mark Begich,
Sen. Mark Begich
Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Congressman Don Young,
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to all those who came out to the 3rd Annual Spirit of Muldoon Picnic to celebrate and encourage the development of a new park in East Anchorage. It was great to visit with so many neighbors. I appreciate your comments and feedback. We have more projects under development in East Anchorage and I encourage your continued involvement to help shape our neighborhoods.
Thanks to Keith Ferris and Aaron Pascar for all your hard work and dedication to making our neighborhoods safer! Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Gruenberg sponsored a legislative citation to recognize their work with the Nunaka Valley Community Patrol
Legislator relay at the 3rd Annual Spirit of Muldoon Picnic
Affordable Care Act – What You Need To Know
It is important that we understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what it means for us. This is a complex federal law. As of October 1, Americans can begin signing up for insurance through the federal health care insurance exchanges.
There are many aspects to focus on, but here are a few facts I have learned:
· 43,371 non-elderly Alaskans who have a pre-existing condition can no longer be excluded from coverage.
· 9,000 young adults (under 26) will have health insurance.
· 237,000 Alaskans with private insurance will no longer face lifetime limits.
· 60,000 Alaskans on Medicare will now have preventive coverage.
· The Medicare trust fund’s life span has been extended by 12 years.
· 70% of businesses with fewer than 25 employees will be eligible for tax credit assistance. 19 million Americans work in a small business eligible for the tax credit.
· Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can participate in small business exchanges to obtain lower health insurance rates but are not required to comply with the employer mandate.
· Insurance companies are prohibited from raising small business health insurance rates due to employees getting sick.
· Indian Health Services has been expanded to include more services. To learn more specifics call 907-729-1928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under the ACA, states have been given the option to expand eligibility for Medicaid benefits. The expansion would extend benefits to most people under the age of 65 whose household income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty limit, or $14,865 per year for an individual and $30,657 per year for a family of four in 2012. The federal government bears 100% of the cost for expansion through 2016 at which time their share will step down to 90% by 2020. A Northern Economics study found that by 2020 each $1 million the state of Alaska invests in the Medicaid expansion is expected to generate $28 million in additional economic activity. The Governor has not yet announced his decision in regards to the Medicaid expansion.
The Affordable Care Act is complex with many elements. If you are interested in learning more here are a few sights I would suggest.
Understanding the Act:
A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Healthcare Act Decision. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Focus on Health Reform. July 2012.
Key Features of the Affordable Care Act by Year. US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013.
Figuring out your best plan:
Find Your Way Around the Health Care Law. AARP. 2013 (Infographic).
What is the Marketplace in my state? US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013. (Interactive Website).
Understanding the Medicaid Expansion:
Healthier States Create a Healthier State Economy. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. February 2013.
Medicaid in Alaska Under the ACA. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. February 2013.
Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Medicaid Expansion in Alaska. Northern Economics. February 2013.
When you’re ready to apply through the health insurance exchange, on or after October 1, you need to visit www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/ to get started.
I was honored to sponsor a legislative citation for the Alaska Veterans Organization for Women. They have been doing amazing work for our women veterans!
Senators Wielechowski and Gardner dig in at the groundbreaking ceremony for the UAA Engineering and Industry Building
We have some important meetings coming up that will be discussing road improvements in our area. It is important for the Municipality and Dept. of Transportation to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Duben Avenue Upgrade: open house sponsored by the Municipality of Anchorage on Sept. 25, 6:30-8:00pm at Muldoon Elementary. For more information you may check out the project website at www.dubenavenue.com.
Nunaka Valley Pedestrian Improvements: the second community meeting will take place at Nunaka Valley Elementary on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7pm.
U-Med Northern Access Town Hall Meeting: Senators Wielechowski, Gardner and Ellis with Representatives Gruenberg, Tarr and Josephson will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss ideas and hear concerns about the proposed U-Med Northern Access Road Project on October 8, 5:30 – 7pm at East High School. We have heard from many constituents and want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to voice their ideas. The Dept. of Transportation, Municipality of Anchorage and DOWL-HKM have been invited to attend. For more information or to submit a comment you may visit the project website at www.umednorthernaccess.com.
Also, the Assembly will be taking up a resolution for adoption and acceptance to include the $20 million for the Northern Access Project tomorrow, Sept. 24th at the Loussac Library. For more info you can contact your assembly person and review the agenda.
Possible routes for the U-med Northern Access Road
Feel free to call my office at 269-0120 if you have any questions. And don’t forget – you can always follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more breaking information.
Alaska State Senator
District J - Anchorage