Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Medicaid Reform Bill Signed Into Law

Governor Murkowski signed HB 426 yesterday during a press conference. I introduced HB 426 as an effort to tightened up some loop holes I believe have decreased the money available for medical attention for Alaskans who truly need medical assistance, but can't afford it.
In times when federal Medicaid dollars are diminishing, the legislature must review policies for providing for the public health. HB 426 was a joint effort between the adminstration and myself to address the "low hanging fruit" of people who have the ability to pay for medical treatment on their own and should. HB 426 makes it easier for the state to track potential third-party reimbursements for Medicaid services, mandates those who qualify for Medicare to apply for Medicare before applying for Medicaid, and elevates parental rights to consent to medical treatment for children qualified for Medicaid.
To further identify ways to make Medicaid dollars go further in helping those who are truly in need of help with their medical needs, HB 426 instructs the administration to come back to the legislature in 2007 with ways to better assess residential treatment of minors and make parents more accountable for the cost of medical services.