Check out this great article on Alaska Dispatch!
National Commission to Issue Sharp Warning That Efforts to Improve Health Will Fail Unless the Nation Invests in Broad New Efforts Outside the Health Care System
RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America to Release New Recommendations that Call for Major Initiatives in Early Childhood Development, Creating Healthy Communities, and Broadening Role of Health Care Providers; Funding Early Childhood Development For All Children by 2025 Critical to Nation’s Health
On January 13, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America will issue new recommendations aimed at improving health now and for generations to come. The recommendations and new report, from a nonpartisan, diverse group of national experts and thought leaders, will highlight the need to:
- Prioritize investments in America’s youngest children
- Encourage leaders in different sectors to work together to create communities where healthy decisions are possible
- Challenge health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives
Building on its original work from 2009 – which helped advance a national movement to address non-medical factors that affect our health – the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America reconvened in 2013 to assess changes that could have the greatest and most immediate impact on improving health. The Commission will release the new recommendations on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET, during a live online event from the Newseum’s Knight Studio in Washington, DC.
The event will feature Commission Co-Chairs Mark McClellan and Alice Rivlin; Commission Staff Director, and the leading national expert on social determinants of health, David Williams; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey; and Commission members (full list below). Innovative programs and policies from across the nation will be highlighted, including tangible examples of the kind of change the Commission is calling for on a broad scale.
For More Information or to RSVP: Please contact Sara Knoll at 301-652-1558 or
Visit with Anchorage-area legislators before they head to Juneau for the legislative session.
The Anchorage Caucus invites Anchorage residents to attend a public meeting at which legislators will provide brief presentations about ongoing and proposed state projects in and around the Anchorage area and will provide opportunity for public comment.
The event is this Saturday, January 11, from 9:00 AM to noon in the Municipality of Anchorage Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library.
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Discussions in Alaska about expanding Medicaid continues to be a hotly debated topic. Recently, Governor Parnell announced his intention not to expand Medicaid in Alaska. Below is a brief synopsis of the timeline and activity highlights surrounding Medicaid expansion in Alaska as we understand it. Readers are welcome to comment on the blog to enrich the discussion.
To contribute to the public dialog about Medicaid expansion, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) commissioned two independent analyses, one from the Urban Institute and one from Northern Economics. ANTHC then summarized the findings from both and publicly released a final report, Healthier Alaskans Create a Healthier State Economy on February 1, 2013. The ANTHC summary reported that both analyses concluded that Medicaid expansion would contribute to improvements in the health of both Alaskans and the Alaska economy.
In April 2013, The Lewin Group of Falls Church, VA, delivered to Governor Parnell a final report that analyzed the impact of Medicaid expansion in Alaska. Efforts by legislators and others to review the report were unsuccessful.
On November 15, 2013, Governor Parnell announced that he would not seek to expand Medicaid in his FY2015 budget proposal. [Read the text from his announcement here.] However, he declared continuing interest in providing a sustainable safety net of health care services for vulnerable Alaskans.
To that end, he proposed the creation of a Medicaid Reform Advisory Group to address issues related to the Medicaid structure and to propose reforms to the state Medicaid program. The group is to meet three key health reform mandates: budget sustainability and predictability, efficient navigation by providers, and the inclusion of behavioral health treatment. The group is to deliver the report to the legislature for approval no later than November 15, 2014.
Also at the press conference, the Lewin Report was made available to the public.
Commissioner Bill Streur followed Parnell’s announcement with a statement in which he addressed planned improvements in the Division of Public Assistance communication plan targeting the most vulnerable Alaskans.
Governor Parnell’s decision not to expand Medicaid in Alaska was met with some criticism. For example, the Alaska Chamber announced its disappointment that Governor Parnell determined not to pursue Medicaid expansion in Alaska, which the chamber considers an “important part of the chamber’s goal of reducing or containing the cost of doing business in Alaska.”
Further, the Alaska Chamber reports, “As taxpayers, all Alaskans are subject to the increased federal taxes established to fund the new national healthcare law. If Alaska does not expand Medicaid, Alaskan’s taxes will pay for the uninsured in other states. The concern is that Alaska businesses and all insured Alaskans will bear even higher insurance premiums and health care costs to cover those uninsured.”