Lawmaker Sends Questionable Email On Medicaid Expansion

A Republican lawmaker from Eagle River sent an e-mail Friday attempting to rally opposition to Medicaid expansion. In the email, obtained by KTUU, Lora Reinbold distributes the call-in number to testify at a Saturday House Finance hearing. She writes, “We are trying not to get the number out to the pro expansion for they are much more organized.”

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Kevin McGee was surprised to see the e-mail in his inbox. McGee is a vice president of the NAACP Anchorage and a vocal supporter of Medicaid expansion:

“And I’m thinking I know doggone well she didn’t want me to get this. The NAACP is totally in agreement with expanding Medicaid,” McGee said.

According to the Alaska Democratic Party, 75 percent of the people who testified Saturday supported Medicaid expansion.

Reinbold says the email was intended to encourage people who want to “preserve the fiscal future of Alaska” to have their voices heard.

She says she wasn’t trying to stifle debate by asking the people who received her email to withhold the call-in number from supporters of expansion.

“Anybody can get that number, if you call the LIO, it is a readily available number, but we just wanted to make sure we were rallying the troops and getting the voices, that we believed were being drowned out, heard down here in Juneau,” Reinbold said.

Reinbold was kicked out of the House Majority caucus in March after she voted against the operating budget.

A poll released earlier this month by Ivan Moore research shows 65 percent of Alaskans support Medicaid expansion.