Monthly Archives: September 2005
As implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug program draws near, both conservatives and liberals in Washington are fretting over the potential cost of the program. To deal with this problem, congressional architects of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) created a program in which private companies would negotiate directly with drug companies to obtain discounts and pass them on to consumersâ€”while barring the government from doing the same. Now that the first phase of the programâ€”a temporary discount card program that began in June 2004 and ends next Januaryâ€”has been in effect for over a year, itâ€™s time to ask a question crucial to the programâ€™s future: how successful has this approach been? Read the rest of this entry
You know the Legislature did â€œsomethingâ€ to PERS and TRS, but do you know what?
Senate Bill 141 changed the retirement options for any public employee hired after July 1, 2006. This includes all teachers, municipal employees (including firefighters and police officers) and state employees. Read the rest of this entry
The Presidentâ€™s budget request for fiscal year 2006 would cut total spending on discretionary domestic services by 7%, not including homeland security, while at the same time increasing military spending by 2%, after adjusting for inflation. Military spending does not include the cost of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Discretionary spending on federal grants to state and local governments would be cut under this budget proposal by 9%, after adjusting for inflation.
In Alaska, the budget proposal includes cuts of $74.6 million for discretionary grants to state and local governments, including: Read the rest of this entry
Here is an important letter about a critical issue from the Executive Director of Juneau Youth Services…
August 30, 2005
The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
709 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510-0201
Re: Proposed changes to Medicaid rehabilitation and targeted case management.
Dear Senator Murkowski:
I am writing to strongly urge you to reject changes that are being proposed by the Administration to Medicaid rehabilitation and case management services. These proposed changes, if adopted, would make it impossible for states and local communities to provide intensive community-based services for children with serious emotional disorders and adults with serious mental illnesses under the Medicaid program. Read the rest of this entry
I remember reading a magazine article several years ago–might have been Discover magazine, I don’t recall for certain–that discussed in great detail as a clear possibility, the disaster that has now befallen New Orleans. I remember at least one vivid illustration of the consequences for the city of the predicted huge tidal surge. At the time I thought that the article was somewhat alarmist and possibly the rantings of a marginal scientist/journalist. How wrong I was. Now I feel the need to consider a reevaluation of the issues associated with possible natural or other disasters in Alaska, and, of course, I am not alone in this rude awakening. Read the rest of this entry