Medicaid expansion is Alaska-first policy
Last year, the NAACP Anchorage joined many other Alaska groups — the Chamber of Commerce, State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Anchorage Faith and Action Communities Together and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium — to endorse Medicaid expansion.
Fortunately, Alaska's new governor, Bill Walker, supports taking federal money to expand Medicaid and jobs in Alaska.
Over the last few months, oil prices have fallen dramatically, making the state's budget deficit even larger. Falling oil prices also are a disincentive for oil companies to hire more employees. The double whammy of depressed oil investment and a shrinking state workforce are a real threat to our economy.
Medicaid expansion can counteract these negative forces by creating more jobs. According to the ANTHC study, accepting federally funded Medicaid expansion will create 4,000 jobs in Alaska. The NAACP applauds Gov. Walker for working to bring more jobs to Alaska.
Perhaps the most important economic impact of Medicaid expansion is on Alaska's working families. Studies show Medicaid reduces health care costs by reducing "uncompensated care," or uninsured people going to the emergency room but not paying for it. This "uncompensated care" drives up costs for everyone with health insurance. By expanding health coverage, Medicaid expansion will save money for the majority of Alaskans who already have health care.
But Medicaid expansion will also improve the economic security of some 41,500 Alaskans who qualify for Medicaid expansion. We all know how expensive health care is in Alaska. The NAACP believes working families should have access to more affordable health care choices, including Medicaid. We've always faced higher-than-average health costs in Alaska, but Medicaid can make health care more affordable for thousands of families.
This is the kind of Alaska-first policy we should all support.
— Kevin D. McGee
chairman, Political Action Committee
Seldovian sympathy for King Cove residents
In a recent commentary (ADN, Dec. 23), Etta Kuzakin, president of King Cove Agdaagux Tribe, made a very clear case, in my opinion, as to why a road needs to be built to assist the community in obtaining help when medical issues arise.
I am responding to this article because the picture of King Cove reminds me a lot of living in Seldovia. We don't have a road either and there is very little chance we will ever have one. Seldovia is cut off by several glaciers between here and Homer and even if it was affordable to build, it would be difficult to maintain. Some people in this discussion state that even if King Cove had a road that it would be hard to maintain. Some have also said that the weather there is so bad that even a road may not be safe to travel. But, it is the people of King Cove who should decide if a road is feasible.
All I can say is that it seems shortsighted to me to choose bird sanctuary over human lives. I am a good steward of my environment. I love to watch the blue herons and many species of duck who land on the lake I live on during their migration. But, would I choose their well-being over a human life? I think not. What I do know of the expanse of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is that it is a vast area. I doubt that a road of less than 30 miles would destroy the bird habitat. I also remember when the pipeline was being built from the North Slope. There was so much controversy that the caribou herd would be destroyed because of it and that has not happened.
Good luck to all in King Cove to get your road. Believe me, some of us who live in coastal communities do understand your need.
— Jan Wyland
Gov. Walker must be doing something right
Do you have a problem with Gov. Walker's appointments? I am unhappy with a couple. But so what? In a democracy, republic, or any organization, even if you are one of the "deciders" as Bush 43 ("I'm the decider") once uttered, you're not going to get your way all the time. All reasonable adults understand and realize this.
So, we have the Republicans who seem to by unhappy with Walker's appointments. And, the Democrats also seem to be unhappy. My opinion? If he is ticking off both parties, then he must be doing something right.
Alaska and Alaska's interests matter to me. And if we are getting people who have a history of suing, raising pipeline property taxes, or otherwise challenging the oil industry, then great. It's better than having on oil industry lawyer, lobbyist or other types of sellouts in these positions.
Rock on Gov. Walker. D's and R's don't matter to me. Actions and results matter. Gov. Walker, we will be watching.
— Mike Citro
How Anchorage deals with roundabouts
Mr. Koskovich delivers a number of insults concerning roundabouts in his letter (ADN, Friday), which should not have been published. All he does is insult others and pound himself on the back. None of which is germane to the issue. How Wasilla handles it is their business. This is Anchorage, and how we deal with them is none of his business. Alaska Dispatch News needs to screen out this sort of missive.
My take is that many of us handle the circles just fine. It's the ones who do not that are the problem, but we are forced into having to deal with them.
They may be popular with the engineers, who force these things down the public's throat, and they certainly save the city money (at the cost of those of us who get assaulted in those circuses and pay the damages). They are not necessarily popular with the public. The engineers had a learning experience at our expense. Nice for them, not so nice for those who got wrecked.
I don't like the attitude of the engineers that they dictate to those of us who pay their salaries. They serve us; an approach of education and admitting how badly they screwed up goes a long way in what may be a beneficial thing (though I continue to disagree with the high-speed type at Dowling Road and the Seward Highway — large trucks, fast speeds and way too small).
— Greg Schmitz
Please dont feed the waterfowl
I was disheartened by Monday's front-page photo of a woman feeding the ducks at Cuddy Family Midtown Park. Although in the cutline it was mentioned that tossing duck and goose maintenance feed is better than white bread, feeding waterfowl shouldn't be encouraged at all.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, giving food to waterfowl causes dependency on humans, interferes with their natural migration patterns, increases malnutrition and can increase their susceptibility to disease. Please don't feed the ducks!
— Natasha Price
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