Dear Alaska ACEP membership,
I am writing to ask a few minutes of your time TODAY.
Chapter Past President Anne Zink and I met with Senator Murkowski’s health aide in Washington, D.C. last week at the ACEP Leadership & Advocacy Conference. We were discussing ways that we could assist in protecting our Alaska patients. The repeal of ACA as currently being described will drastically hurt Alaskans access to medical care. See more information here.
We have been asked to provide patient stories where the benefits of the ACA helped patients and ways that the current AHCA (American Health Care Act) in the House or the “Republican Plan” would hurt patients. Please take a moment to think of a case, and write a brief story and send it ASAP. Senator Murkowski’s office needs these stories this week as this is likely to come to the Senate quickly. She is specifically looking for cases where:
- AHCA will hurt disproportionately Alaskans as it does not take into account higher Alaska cost and transportation issues. (Basically a fixed rate per Medicare patient would come to the state). See this article for more information.
- Loss of protection for Essential Health Benefits like pregnancy which could not be purchased in Alaska prior to the ACA
- For vulnerable adults, tax credit will not provide the same financial relief for the cost of healthcare as health-care subsides.
- Older adults are already more challenging to care for in Alaska. This population will be at further risk with the current AHCA plan.
- 28 K Alaskan lives are now covered in Alaska because of Medicaid expansion which given our state budget would likely lose insurance coverage. Who are these people and what does this mean.
- The AHCA complicates the Medicaid enrollment process which will increase insurance gaps and hurt patients. 60 day retroactive enrollment and renewal every year should be maintained.
Thank you for your time making your patients voices heard.
Please send to Senator Murkowski’s office and please send a copy to us so we can track the stories and share as this debate is likely to not end soon.
Thank you for your help,
Benjamin Shelton, MD, MPH, FACEP