Monthly Archives: February 2013

Your Opinion Counts!

What health priorities are important to you and your community? Healthy Alaskans 2020 wants to know.HA2020LogoCompressed

Today is the last day to take the second Health Priorities survey.

Visit the Healthy Alaskans 2020 website at HA2020.alaska.gov to help contribute to this important effort.

  • Help narrow down the health priorities from 71 to 25 by telling them which ones are important to you
  • Follow Healthy Alaskans 2020’s progress towards healthier people and communities
  • Check the website often to stay involved

Healthy Alaskans 2020 is a joint effort between the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

What Does Sequester Mean for Alaska?

The White House has released a report outlining the impact of March 1st cuts, also known as the sequester, on middle class families, jobs and economic security in Alaska – unless Congress acts quickly. View the full report here.

Get Ready! Healthcare.gov Can Help You Prepare

It’s almost here. In a matter of months the Affordable Care Act will open the doors for millions of Americans to enroll in affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Healthcare.gov is a website specifically designed to help prepare everyone from individuals and families to small businesses and communities. Below are some additional websites that hold a wealth of information about plans, implementation and easily understandable explanations to even the hardest questions. Are you prepared?

From the Washington Post – It’s Official: The feds will run most Obamacare exchanges

The federal government is set to run health exchanges in 26 states starting next year. Check out the full article!

final-exchange-map

ACPP Survey Results

In January, Alaska Center for Public Policy initiated a survey to learn about the policies our readers hoped the Legislature would address in the current session. Forty-nine people responded, identifying a total of about 98 primary issues. Following is a brief report based on the responses we received.

Given Alaska Center for Public Policy’s health policy bent, it was not surprising that health policy issues — cost, care, and access — were cited more frequently than were other issues. Within that category, access to affordable care, in some form or another, took the number one spot — 43 of the 98 identified concerns.

“The state has not taken responsibility for moving ahead with ‘Obamacare.'”
“Health care is more inaccessible than ever. ‘Public’ health now charges for everything.”
“Health: Medicaid expansion, public health, health-related bills and funding.”

Concerns about specific types of health care were also a hot topic.

“Alaskans need accessible, affordable, adequate mental health care.”
“Alaska has the fastest growing senior population in the country but we do not have adequate long term care services, or enough home and community based services in the urban an rural areas to keep seniors living independently for as long as possible.”

Some responses were really specific.

“We need to have more affordable treatment for opiate addicts.”
“Funding for comprehensive obesity programs, coverage for colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy) of retired state employees.”
“Substance abuse and violence treatment.”

Concerns about the economy were addressed 24 times in the responses. The majority (12) were about gas, oil, and renewable resources. Growing the economy — in the form of agriculture, natural resource management, and transportation infrastructure — was also mentioned several times. Fiscal planning was the third most often cited concern about the economy.

“I would like to see our state’s resource revenues invested in public assets and improvements that will provide ongoing benefits to Alaskans in the form of broader and safer transportation options.”
“Expansion of renewable energy within the state; oil tax reform that benefits Alaska”
“[W]orried there won’t be much revenue if they do an oil tax giveaway.”

Rounding out the issues identified in the responses are the environment, education, and concerns for Alaskans.

“[L]egislation to list hazardous chemicals in products and phase them out, particularly those in children’s products.”
“[E]ducation beyond preparing people to work for oil companies and existing economic powerful businesses.”
“It will soon be impossible to keep my home because of the heating fuel costs.”

Clearly, readers of Alaska Center for Public Policy’s publications are a thoughtful group of people. We were impressed with the passion behind the responses, obvious even through the medium of an electronic survey. Your responses will help guide future publications and conversations.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts.

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