Parnell to make announcement on Medicaid expansion

Gov. Sean Parnell is having a press conference on Friday morning to make an announcement on accepting federal funds to expand the state’s Medicaid program, which could provide insurance for about 40,000 more low-income Alaskans. As part of the new health care bill, the federal government would pay the expansion’s entire cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

It’s likely that he will either announce that he won’t accept those, or that he’s still considering it. He did, however, meet on Wednesday with various health care stakeholder groups, all of whom supported expansion. According to sources, he seemed very concerned about the negative effects that expansion, as well as the new health care act, will have on the insurance industry.

Parnell has also continually said that he is worried that the feds will renege on the deal and will eventually leave Alaskans paying the bill. However, the state has at various times cut Medicaid  for its residents, and there is nothing that would preclude it from doing so in the future.

Republican governors and Republican led legislatures across the country have wrestled with whether or not to expand their states’ program. In late October, Ohio became the 25th state plus the District of Columbia to expand Medicaid. Nearly a dozen Republican governors have moved to do so. In justifying his decision, Ohio governor, Republican John R. Kasich, said that it makes financial and moral sense. Not accepting the money, he said, “would make a bad situation far worse,” and said that without it, the federal funds and subsequent jobs would just go to other states.

Others, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott, have made similar arguments.

According to a study conducted by the Alaska Native Health Consortium, accepting the federal funds would cost the state $23.4 million over the next seven years, but would result in:

  • $1.1 billion in new federal revenue for Alaska
  • 4,000 new jobs
  • $1.2 billion more in wages and salaries paid to Alaskans
  • $2.49 billion in increased economic activity throughout the state

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services commissioned another study by a private company which was completed in April. DHSS and Parnell have refused to release the study.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


11 thoughts on “Parnell to make announcement on Medicaid expansion

  1. GOP SE Booster

    Love watching the whining Ds cry. Tell your lazy good for nothing Medicaid abusers to go get a job. Ha ha hamm

  2. Nome Democrat

    Republicans got what they deserve when they elected Parnell. He is nothing but a tool of the evil Koch brothers who throw their $$$ at him. Is this the kind of government Alaskans want ?

  3. State Camber Member

    I hate Obamacare overall. Nonetheless, I believe Medicaid expansion is in the state’s interest and wished the Governor would have accepted the increased funds. The Governor forgot his fiduciary responsibilities to the state. It is sad that he put partisan politics above the state’s interest. I never thought Sean Parnell would stoop so low. Today is a sad day in our state’s history. Today, Sean Parnell has lost my support. I wish I could have my campaign contribution back.

  4. Max

    OMG! Miracles never cease! It’s amazing. Unbelieveable. Captain Zero in an unprecedented move is going to make a sytatement on Medicaid expansion. Will he take a position? Will he show leadership? Will he stand up for Alaskans? Well, he didn’t. Instead he showed true cowardice. Bowing as a disciple of the far right and the Club for Growth that bought his soul years ago when he ran against Don Young. It’s this type of leadership, or lack thereof, that makes you want to vote for anyone but the incumbent. Well, at least he took a stand. Right or wrong, that’s way more initiative from this governor than we’re use to. I just don’t understand how he can advocate for a “Choose Respect” campaign and be so disrespectful of the needy and vulnerable. Wish the governor would show respect for the less fortunate. Even though Parnell may have made an insensitive and uncaring stand, please join me in praying for him and those less fortunate that he turned his back on today. May God remember those that Governor Parnell forgot about.

  5. bernie b.

    Mr. 357, Tom or whatever his name is sounds like an interesting character, especially if your IQ is under 90. Maybe you should go to work in the Parnell administration, if you don’t already.

  6. Tom J.R. 357m

    Why are you dudes bitting at the Governor. All he’s is doing is getting the welfare wittches in line and trying to get them to work insted of wanting free handoutts all the tyme. Bout tyme someone stand up to welfare cheets. Hope Parnel ends medicaid paments all together. Let them move somewhere else to mooch off handouts and git out of alaska.

  7. 49er

    Heard Parnell came out AGAINST Medicaid expansion. He is a partisan coward controlled by Teaparty wack jobs. Parnell has NO lkeadership skills or courage. I agree with Don Young, “PARNELL IS CAPT. ZERO”. This isn’t about Obama. It is about our economy stupid! You grew up on state insurance and have no concept of the hardships other s face. Come to my neighborhood and visit with the families. They are Alaskans too. Not your kind, not millionaires that you lunch with, not people who live in $500,000 homes. But, they are Alaskans too. Dam you. I will NEVER EVEr vote for Parnell for anything. Parnell disgusts me.

  8. S. Jacobson

    Just listened to Parnell’s announcement on the ACA.
    He is such a disappointment. Totally unlike his image of a good guy.
    He is the worst kind of politician. He cares more about partisan pon what is good for Alaks.
    Now some other state will get our state’s money.
    Turning his back on the chamber of commerce, the poor and thje many small businesses that pay high rates because of the poor is unacceptable. Vote Byron Mallott.
    Shame on you Parnell.

  9. SW

    I am a life long Republican and swear I’ll vote for the Democratic nominee for governor if Parnell fails to adopt Medicaid expansion. Even the State Camber of Commerce supports it. If Parnell panders to the Tea Party on this, I am SO done with him.

  10. Morris G.

    Really? Does anyone expect Captain Zero, aka Governor PArnell, to have the courage to stand up to the partisan zealots and do the right thing. To hell with the positive economic impacy Medicaid expansion would have on the state. Forget the quality of life improvements for so many. Nope, Captain Zero could care less. Just wait to see. When will Alaskans have the courage as Congressman Young did and call Parnell what he is – – CAPTAIN ZERO.

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