Support state health care bills

I am sorry that Gov. Sean Parnell’s vendetta against affordable health care is affecting so many Alaskans. The Affordable Care Act covers dependents up to age 26, but according to AARP Alaska, the governor decided not to apply that provision of the federal health care law to the state’s public retiree health plan. Retired and your son or daughter over 19 and not in school? No coverage. Age 23 and still in school? No coverage. The state website says “Retirees have the option to continue coverage for their dependents by selecting COBRA continuation benefits.” COBRA for a 21-year-old is $998 per month. The governor has also precluded covering colonoscopies for retirees, an important preventative procedure. Did you ever notice that so many who resist affordable care either already have health insurance or are so wealthy that its price is inconsequential? Governor Parnell says his opposition to the Affordable Care Act is about “freedom.” My experience, as a long-time Alaskan, is that it’s about affordability. Please support HB 29. It and its companion bill, SB81 — the Public Retiree Medical Benefits Coverage Bill — is “An Act establishing as a standard for the procurement of group life and health insurance for retirement systems for certain public employees a requirement that preventive health services medical benefits provided to the systems’ retiree members may not be less than preventive health services medical benefits provided to the systems’ active members.”

Richard Steele

Douglas

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