Health Care Reform Remains a Hot Topic

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

At Monday’s Anchorage Chamber Senate debate, the Senate candidates also tackled the issue of health care reform. Asked if they would support, vote to repeal or modify the new federal health law, the Republican candidates were eager to denounce it. Joe Miller said, it can’t be tolerated.

Lisa Murkowski stressed that she not only voted to oppose the health care plan, but she voted to repeal it. She also said, it’s probably unlikely that it will be possible to repeal it under the current administration. But she said, if it is repealed, change still needs to come.

Murkowski said medical malpractice liability reform and the ability to be able to purchase insurance across state lines are examples.

Democrat Scott McAdams said that the bill’s process was in itself an example of how broken the Washington system is.

McAdams says the unfunded mandate of mandatory coverage troubles him and he said he’d want to take a look at that as part of an effort to improve the law.

The candidates were also asked how they would address the congressional attacks on the Alaska Native Corporation’s involvement in the small business administration’s 8(a) program. Republican Joe Miller says the 8(a) program needs reform.

Senator Murkowski said she has supported and seen the benefits of the 8(a) program for Alaska Natives. She said the benefits are so strong that others outside of it want to know why they can’t get in on the same type of contracting.

Murkowski says she’ll fight Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s attempts to limit ANC involvement in 8a.

Democrat Scott McAdams says he also supports the ANC 8(a) contracting ability and criticized McCaskill’s lack of vision. He said the billions in wealth that distributes through Alaska is important but there are future aspects to also consider.

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