Note from Rep. Gara: 4,000 New Jobs: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Prevent A Recession

Rep. Gara Newsletter I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend! Now for some sobering news – a big wallop to hit you with after a long weekend. And a solution so you hopefully don’t ever feel that wallop! A recent study says Alaska is either in a recession, or is on the possible brink of one. That’s a big concern. Standing still isn’t the way to address this news. Here’s something we should do to help avoid any protracted recession.
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NEWS: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Avoid the Risk of a Recession in Alaska

Rep. Les Gara ANCHORAGE – A recent report commissioned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority suggests Alaska is at risk of a recession for the fourth time in the state’s history. The report indicates a recession could be prolonged due, in part, to the downturn in oil prices and subsequent decreases in state spending. However, the report outlines options to mitigate a recession including accepting Medicaid expansion, which will be paid for almost entirely by the federal government. House Finance Committee member Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) tried repeatedly this past session to garner legislative approval for Medicaid expansion but the Republican-controlled Majorities refused to allow the issue to be put to a vote.
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Note from Rep. Gara: Why This Took Way Too Long! Budget Improved to Give Children, Seniors a Fairer Shake in Life

Rep. Gara Newsletter I’ve been periodically frustrated, and sometimes worse than that as the budget process plodded along too slowly. Passing a budget isn’t rocket science and many Democrats, Republicans and our one Independent legislator could likely have reached compromise in a few days, rather than taking 50 extra days of special session. But some legislators, though good people, were, I’d have to say, less “flexible” than others.
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