Politics

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Legislation undermines value of human life

Under the guise of compassion, a Physician Assisted Suicide bill (HB 54) has been filed by Representative Harriet Drummond. This so-called “Right to Die” bill is nothing less than “State Sponsored Homicide”. Homicide is the “killing of one...

 

Short term cuts, long term problems

In the sixth grade, my daughter was working on a school project and began asking a series of questions about family economics: “How much is our house payment? What does it cost to heat the house? What do we spend on groceries?” Our family records...

 

ACA repeal must protect Alaska's seniors

As we age, the more we need reliable health care, and an important part of the aging process is access to quality emergency and trauma care. As Republicans are looking to keep their promise to voters to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it’s...

 

There is hard work ahead, say candidates

Senior citizens are “super voters.” I like that moniker. I am proud of that moniker. And in the spirit of wanting to know how our state candidates (incumbents and challengers) would address issues of importance to seniors of all stripes I sent ou...

 

A surprising bipartisan effort to improve health coverage

Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican congresswoman, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, don’t agree on very much about health care. Both sit on the powerful House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and both tend to vote...

 

PFD voter registration is common sense

We face difficult financial and political challenges in Alaska, but our state legislature is dysfunctional. We need to do more than sit on the sidelines and complain that politicians aren’t doing their jobs. We need and can do more to fix our...

 
 By Ed Wesley    Politics    August 1, 2016

Alaska government can do better for seniors

Alaska faces unparalleled fiscal challenges threatening the hard-won financial and personal security of our elders. In the midst of such challenges it is prudent to utilize a wide and diverse array of policy tools to limit and counteract the damage...

 

Murkowski: Bill honors unsung heroes of WWII

Editor’s note: This press statement was received on May 27, 2016. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has introduced S.2989, the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, in honor and appreciation of the Merchant Mariners who...

 

Imposing a Pioneer home wait list fee would hurt low income Alaskan seniors

This letter, abbreviated here, was sent by the Alaska Commission on Aging to the Alaska Senate and House chairs on April 6, 2016, in regard to SB 139 and HB 256, which impose a $100 annual fee to be placed on the Pioneer Homes wait list. The letter...

 

Older Americans Act is finally reauthorized, but requires proper funding

Editor’s Note: This press statement was received on April 21, 2016. The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — is congratulating both President Barack...

 

Drug pricing options proposed, presupposed, opposed

Most Americans and leading presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle support the idea that the federal government should lower drug prices. But it's not likely to happen any time soon even though the Obama administration and Congress are...

 

The Senior Property Tax Exemption is at risk

During the 1980 recession, Alaska lost over 20,000 jobs, most of which were in Anchorage, where a majority of the oil, construction and related services were located. The 2015 reduction in oil prices have resulted in over a $3 billion state budget de...

 

It's our turn to 'pay it forward' on education

“Pay it forward” is part of my educational philosophy. When we were children in public schools people around us paid taxes to educate us. Our parents and neighbors volunteered in schools, served on the PTA and voted. They voted for school bonds...

 

Legislative teleconferences keep you updated on senior-related bills

Keep track of bills, budget decisions and other issues by attending the Alaska Commission on Aging Legislative Teleconferences. Hosted by local agencies statewide, the teleconferences provide a convenient forum for seniors and advocates across...

 

A legislative update and legal clarification

I am writing this article for three reasons. First, in response to a statement made by Jonathan J. David in his article, “Deed helps avoid costly trusts, probate” in the June 2015 Senior Voice, which states “However, in the event your daughter...

 

Alaska's children are overdosing on heroin

Heroin is killing Alaskan children and grandchildren at alarming rates, and unless we do something to address the problem now, it will only get worse. Heroin-related deaths in Alaska tripled between 2008 and 2013. In 2012, the rate of heroin...

 

It is wrong to cut Alaska's Senior Benefits program

With a $3.9 billion dollar deficit, it’s important for the legislature to make big cuts, and we have. However, cuts to our most vulnerable seniors is a mistake, and that’s one of the issues we continue to debate. Established in 2007, the Senior...

 

Republican budget bill proposes marked changes in Medicare coverage

Check off “budget” on the Republicans “can govern” checklist. Congressional Republicans recently approved a budget bill, the first passed by Congress in six years, and the first since the party took control of both chambers earlier this...

 

AARP supports Alaskan caregiver legislation

There are more than 88,000 family caregivers in Alaska at any given time, and more than 128,000 over the course of a year, according to a 2014 report on Long Term Services and Supports done by AARP’s Public Policy Institute (htt...

 
 By Liz Lucas    Politics    February 1, 2015

Advocacy, partnering in the Juneau community

The AARP Juneau Community Council attended the Jan. 15, “Annual Elders and Caregivers Workshop,” hosted by the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The focus was “Medicaid Opportunities in Alaska, Juneau Senior Housing and...

 

Teleconferences help you keep up with legislature

Did you know that the Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) monitored a total of 45 bills and resolutions and actively supported 25 pieces of legislation that affected seniors during the FY2014 legislative session? We also provided committee testimony an...

 

Alaskans need just and reasonable home heating rates

Alaskans are struggling with high energy costs throughout the state. Seniors and others on fixed incomes are particularly burdened when heating oil and gas rates rise. Even in Anchorage, which has ready access to natural gas, rising heating rates...

 

State's Medicaid failures are hurting businesses

In April I challenged the Parnell administration to explain to the public the steps it has taken to fix Alaska’s Medicaid reimbursement system. This system compensates health care providers (i.e., hospitals, clinics, physicians, therapists, etc.)...

 

AARP says more must be done to support family caregivers

According to a new, state-by-state, long-term care scorecard from AARP, Alaska ranks fifth in the nation overall when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents. But AARP cautions against too much optimism since improvements...

 

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