Tag Archives: gov. sean parnell

The Affordable Care Act and women

Below is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, from which I get nearly daily press releases. I get nothing, however, from Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, which appears to have abdicated their role in educating Alaskans who need to sign up for the exchanges.

Perhaps this silence from HSS is a directive from Gov. Sean Parnell, who apparently would rather see the law fail than to have his constituents be able to receive insurance that they can actually afford. He and his advisors, after all, have theirs, paid for by the oil companies and the citizens of Alaska.

4 things for women to know:

• You won’t be charged more for health insurance just because you’re a woman.

• You can’t be denied coverage or charged more due to pre-existing conditions, like cancer or being pregnant.

• You can choose from any primary care provider, OB-GYN, or pediatrician in your health plan’s network without a referral.

• You’ll get free preventive care like mammograms, well-woman visits, contraception, and more.

Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014. I’ll have more as I get it on how and where to sign up for the exchanges.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Throwing his hat in the ring: Mallott will run for governor as a Democrat

byron mallottIn an interview on Monday evening, businessman and Alaska Native leader Byron Mallott said that he’s “definitely” putting his hat in the race for governor against Gov. Sean Parnell, and that he will run as a Democrat.

Due to the restrictive primary system, Mallott, who is 70 years old and lives in Juneau, has been registered as a nonpartisan for 12 years and has worked and supported Republican, independent and Democratic candidates. However, he’s been a Democrat most of his life, he said.

Mallott declined to give specifics about his platform, but he did say that he was born and raised in Alaska, and feels passionately about the state and the place of Alaska in the union. “It’s literally another country in size and richness of resources, but in many ways it’s a small town. The way we deal with one another should reflect that uniqueness,” he said.

Democratic state Sen. Hollis French has filed papers to run for statewide office and has said that he was considering running for governor. It’s unclear if the news about Mallott will do anything to dissuade him from running. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday evening.

Mallott brings a unique understanding and perspective to both government service and the private sector, as well as to the rural/urban divide that plagues Alaska, and he’s got the resume to prove it. At 22, he was the mayor of Yakutat. He was commissioner of the Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs under Gov. Bill Egan. He served as mayor of Juneau before becoming the executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund. He was the CEO of Sealaska Corp, president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and has served on the board of many corporations, including Alaska Airlines and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

He’s clan leader of the KwaashKiKwaan clan of the Raven tribe of Yakutat. His wife Toni is a retired elementary school teacher. They have five children.

Polls show that Parnell is popular in the state, but they also show that his popularity is rather shallow. In other words, he’s likable enough, but it’s not clear that there’s real commitment behind his support. Mallott is expected to start his campaign with deep pockets of support in Southeast Alaska, the Alaska Native community, and in some business sectors. He’s known to be passionate, tough, and smart and because no Alaska Native has been governor, the race has the potential to be imbued with history-making excitement.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


The governor tries to sell the public on oil tax reform

Governor Sean Parnell isn’t much known for using a heavy hand or voice in passing bills. Last year, he got about as antagonistic as he gets when he called the bipartisan Senate a “do nothing” body when they failed to pass his oil tax bill. That kind of backfired, temporarily at least, because for all the world the Senate was working very, very hard.

Anyway, things are going better for the governor this session, at least as oil taxes are concerned. (Trouble is brewing on other fronts, however. HB 77, a major bill that would revise Alaska’s water and land use laws to benefit mining and other commercial interests appears to be in trouble.) Even Rep. Les Gara conceded in a committee hearing that a reform to ACES will likely pass this session.

But Parnell’s success on this front has little to do with his own efforts, which seem to involve only talking to the Legislature through the Associated Press and writing a weekly oil tax message. (If that weekly message had done one little thing to change one heart and mind, then writers and thinkers with any talent everywhere should just give up and declare themselves the uncles of monkeys. The same goes for industry sponsored commercials on Gavel to Gavel, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, Parnell did get a little cutting edge on Thursday, trying to reach the masses today through twitter and urged others to do the same. In his tell-tale, conversational style, Parnell tweeted the following:

As one pundit put it, “The third floor’s political acumen remains less than stellar,” and then, in his real voice, he said, “This is how he’s trying to sell this bill?”

A few made fun of Parnell’s tweet, and two hours after he urged a re-tweet, only ten had done so, including Deputy Press Secretary Luke Miller, who, when he worked for U.S. Rep. Don Young, spent his days reaching out and actually talking to reporters. Strangely enough, that seemed to work.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com