Alaska Republican Party proudly trumpets false claims on Medicaid budget
The Republican Party of Alaska and its chief spokeswoman, Suzanne Downing, are demanding that Republican legislators ignore a request by Gov. Bill Walker for a $92 million budget addition to pay for Medicaid cost increases.
"The governor ignored the Legislature in Medicaid expansion; the Legislature should ignore him now," the Republican Party and Downing snarled on Facebook.
Republican legislators will ignore this terrible advice. And for good reason.
Of the $93 million in additional funds the state needs for this fiscal year, only $4 million would be for the Medicaid expansion program, contrary to what the party and Downing claim.
Through that expansion program, 40,398 Alaskans have gained health care coverage. Almost all of the cost is funded by the federal government. Overall, when all changes are included for the next fiscal year, the added cost to the state of covering those people is estimated to be about $2.8 million. That is a great deal for Alaska and for those families getting health insurance.
The people who gained coverage this way make up about 20 percent of the Alaskans now on Medicaid. In total, nearly 200,000 people are covered by Medicaid in Alaska, nearly half of them children.
The only thing to ignore here is the Republican Party and its chief spokeswoman.