Tag Archives: obamacare alaska

Quote of the day: Message to Alaskans about ObamaCare and to Parnell on Medicaid expansion

From Kate McKee, a former journalist and current Wasilla resident:

As a Certified Application Counselor for the ACA in Wasilla, I can tell you that although there are still glitches on the website, most Valley people I have helped are able to get enrolled in a plan for $0-$200 per month and have much lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than they ever would have gotten without the ACA. However, too many people are slipping into the “Medicaid hole” because Gov. Parnell has rejected the Medicaid Expansion for AK. They don’t make enough (money) to qualify for a tax subsidy and they can’t get Medicaid because of Parnell’s decision. These people include a woman diagnosed with cancer who is fighting for her life, a woman who can barely walk (even with crutches) and she has no idea what’s wrong with her because she can’t afford the diagnostic tests, and two extremely depressed (suicidal) men who have given up hope on ever getting the medical care they need. If you want to help these people get the coverage they need to survive, please email Gov. Parnell.

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Team Obama promotes successes of health care law

Given the problems with healthcare.gov, it’s nothing if not ironic that Obama’s advocacy arm, the nonprofit Organizing for Action, is so skilled at making websites. In the lead-up to passing Obamacare in 2009, a version of the same group gathered stories from all across the country detailing the horrors they encountered with the medical and insurance industries. Few people saw the website, however. Obama’s people might be skilled at creating websites, but they’re lousy at disseminating those stories through the media.

Now, the group has another website, this time highlighting personal stories, some from news accounts, from all across the country of people benefiting under the health care law.

Here’s one from a woman that goes by Lara Imler who lives in Alaska, culled from public radio:

“Being self-employed, getting my premium at anything reasonable wasn’t happening,” she says. “I think my last quote was $1,200 a month for myself.”  About two hours after she started, she landed on a screen that told her she had successfully enrolled. She was pleasantly surprised by the price. Imler qualified for subsidies and chose a mid-level plan that will cost her $110 a month. “The website sucks. I’m not going to lie,” she says, “But the idea that I might be able to afford health insurance, is huge to me. It will be a huge burden off my family.”

As I said, Obama’s on-the-ground people are good with technology and putting together websites. However, in the past at least, they aren’t so good at knowing what to do with them once they’re up. There are lots of good stories out there about the new law. Let’s hope they’ve learned how to spread them.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Anti-Obamacare websites mislead Alaskans

True and liesTo the extent that anything related to ObamaCare is fun, it’s kind of fun to take the quiz on Know the Facts Alaska, the anti-ObamaCare website that’s been set up in Alaska by Outsiders to try to derail ObamaCare.

No matter how you answer one of the five questions about your health care preferences, you’re told that you should either not sign up for ObamaCare on the health exchange at all, or that you should wait and see how others like it.

The folks behind Know the Facts, and its apparent sister site, Don’t Enroll Alaska, are funded by the Foundation for Government Accountability, one of the tentacles of the ever expanding network of Koch brothers’ think-tanks across the country.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow featured the sites on her show Monday night.

Alaska Commons, a local website, broke the story of the two sites, which were formed nearly simultaneously. Both sites offer misleading information about health care reform, something that isn’t sitting well with Enroll Alaska, an affiliate of Northrim Bank and a broker that’s working to sign people up for ObamaCare.

Tyann Boling, chief operating officer at Enroll Alaska, told the Alaska Dispatch that some of the facts on the sites are “very misleading.” Among other things, Boling takes issue with the quiz. She takes issue with the statement on Know Your Facts that “there is no trial period for the exchange plans.” It’s true, as far it goes, but the insurance bought through the exchanges is insurance bought through the private market. And no private health insurance plan, whether bought through the exchange or not, allows for trial periods.

Boling chalks the misleading information up to “charged” politics. Northrim Bank is one of the most conservative businesses in the state, and has not been shy in supporting pro-business Republican candidates.

Neither the Alaska Division of Insurance or the consumer protection division of Alaska’s Department of Law has done anything to warn consumers of the misleading information.

Bret Kolb, the director of the Division of Insurance, has said that it’s up to the federal government to inform consumers about ObamaCare.

According to sources in the insurance industry, Kolb submitted his resignation on Monday.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com