2018 Alaska General Elections

Funding health care

Do you support the state paying health care providers less? If not, how would you limit state spending on health care?

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Do you support the state paying health care providers less? If not, how would you limit state spending on health care?

  • U.S. House of Representatives

    • Alyse Galvin

      Independent (Democratic Party nominee) candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

      In Congress, I would not be in a position to control how the state pays for health care services. On the federal level, I would support measures that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, like allowing Medicare to negotiate with big pharma and permitting our pharmacies to purchase prescription drugs from Canada and European countries where it is safe. My opponent has voted against these measures.

    • 2018 Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate Don Young

      Don Young

      Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

      The state can consider that, but at the same time they would need to take into account that paying providers less could result in less availability of services, particularly in more rural areas. There could be a balance there, but at a point people would not have the incentive to provide services if they are not being fairly compensated. I have always argued that programs aimed at early prevention, identification, and treatment would save money in the long term even when it appears to cost more up front. More people seeing primary care doctors could help with this and avoid larger complications and emergencies down the road.

  • Governor

    • Billy Toien

      Libertarian candidate for Governor

      SB 91 lets the wrong people out and must be repealed. Also there are entirely to many “laws” that put people that have harmed no one into cement cages. Such Nazism has no place in a free country to be wiped from the books, while those committing real crimes are held accountable and face justice that is swift & appropriate.

    • Mike Dunleavy

      Republican candidate for Governor

      Obviously, contractual obligations with health care providers need to be honored. But looking toward the future, we do need to reduce costs. The budget for almost every state agency is profoundly affected by health care costs, from Corrections to Health and Social Services. There is no single, “silver bullet” solution for doing this, but rather dozens of reforms. For example:

      • Tackling fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA): This occurs at all levels in our health care system – with patients, with providers, and with insurance companies. The state of Illinois launched an effort to combat FWA and saved over $430 million in the first two years.
      • Medicaid block grants: As governor, one approach I may consider is requesting the federal government to structure Medicaid as a block grant to our state, which would allow our state the freedom and flexibility to set our own priorities.
      • Help small businesses: I want to expand the use of private association health plans for small employers. The state Division of Insurance is looking into permitting these plans, but has not acted yet.
      • Require work for certain Medicaid recipients: I support requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, undergo job training, or volunteer.

       
      Unlike my opponent, I will NOT define success based on growing the number of people who are dependent on government health care, but rather on growing the number of people who have no need for government assistance in meeting their health care needs.

    • 2018 Democratic candidate for governor Mark Begich

      Mark Begich

      Democratic candidate for Governor

      There are a lot of things we need to do to bring health care costs down. Fundamentally, our health care system is designed to make money when we get sick, rather than valuing keeping us healthy. We have a small enough population to experiment with new models of health care coverage where health insurers are paid a fixed cost per patient, rather than getting paid based on which services we receive.

      As Alaskans know all too well, we face some of the highest health care costs in the country. While these costs are a direct impact on family budgets and bottom lines, they also have systemic effects in areas like small business growth, education, and unemployment. The silver lining, however, is that the health care industry is currently the fastest growing sector in our state economy. This is a clear sign that with the right policies in place, health care doesn’t have to be a drag on our economy.

      As Alaskans know, I support trying innovative approaches to change the status quo. There are opportunities to reduce costs and deliver higher quality services by working with employee groups and finding new, innovative approaches to delivering services. We also need to increase transparency to allow Alaskans to know the real prices of the services we pay for – awareness will drive prices down by making the market more competitive.

  • Lieutenant Governor

    • 2018 Libertarian Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor Care Clift

      Care Clift

      Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor

      I do not support paying medical providers less. Copays should be on a sliding scale. State spending on health care will improve with less children in foster care, better birth control access and education, and improving the economy with more jobs and employer-provided health care.

    • Kevin Meyer

      Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor

      The candidate has not submitted a response to this question

    • Debra Call

      Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor

      We have to reform the entire health care system, not just tweak specific payments or policies. There are several concrete steps the state can take to reduce the cost and expand access to health care. For one thing, the state should leverage its purchasing power to negotiate the price of treatment and pharmaceuticals. For another, it should partner with other small, rural states to form a larger, joint risk pool, which would bring premiums down. Third, it should continue to explore creative partnerships, like the one between ANTHC and the VA, which allows veterans to use Native health facilities.

  • House District 33

  • House District 34

    • Andi Story

      Democratic candidate for House District 34

      I support a strong competitive market. Having excellent health care providers is extremely important to Alaskans. Compensation needs to be fair to retain and attract providers. I support negotiating fair prices taking into account the high cost of doing business in Alaska.

      Some ways to limit state spending on health care include: supporting Medicaid expansion; regulatory relief for hospitals and nursing homes; finding and reducing fraud; and voluntary pooling. I support looking into being able to participate across state lines to obtain prescription drugs. I know the Legislature authorized some innovative care models that work to transform payment and delivery systems in hopes of finding cost savings. I will look to those results for possible cost savings that will limit state spending on health care.

    • Jerry Nankervis

      Republican candidate for House District 34

      I support increased health education to reduce state spending. We have experienced great outcomes with the City and Borough of Juneau’s “Health Yourself” model. I support opening state borders to increase health insurance competition to provide more service options and reduce costs.

  • Senate District Q

    • Don Etheridge smiles as Cathy Muñoz introduces him as a candidate for Alaska's Senate District Q at a campaign event at Rie Muñoz Gallery in Juneau on July 12, 2018.

      Don Etheridge

      Independent candidate for Senate District Q

      Yes, organized labor has created a health care coalition that goes out and negotiates with the providers on the cost of health care. This program saves our members a lot of dollars on health care and can provide a better coverage. The state has been invited to join this coalition but they choose not to.

    • Jesse Kiehl

      Democratic candidate for Senate District Q

      There are several ways we can make our health care system run better and lower Alaskans’ costs without arbitrary caps on providers. The state can negotiate rates with providers and help all employers — public and private — pursue more innovative ways to keep Alaskans healthy. More preventive care, managing chronic conditions, and keeping up our work to educate young people about the dangers of things like tobacco and preventable illnesses will all reduce health problems and therefore costs down the road. We must also protect Medicaid expansion. Because of Medicaid expansion, another 40,000+ working Alaskans now have health coverage, including access to preventive care. That’s critical for our families, and it matters to Alaska’s economy. To date, Medicaid expansion has saved our state millions in general fund dollars and brought more than $1 billion of additional federal funds into our economy.