No Medicaid expansion in Alaska will impact native providers

Alaska's decision not to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act is having a significant impact on the finances of tribal healthcare entities. According to officials from the Alaska Tribal Health System, federal funds from the Indian Health Service account for only about half of the funding required to provide care to the state's native tribal members, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Altogether, about 17,500 Native Americans in Alaska would have been eligible for benefits under the expanded Medicaid program. However, a spokesperson for Gov. Sean Parnell, who decided against the expansion, was unmoved. "The inadequate rate of reimbursement by the Indian Health Service to Alaska's tribal health system is another example of a broken promise by the federal government. The state of Alaska should not be expected to backfill this expense," spokeswoman Sharon Leighow told the Anchorage Daily NewsArticle