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 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...

 

New Medicare benefits you should know about - but probably don't

Dying patients may find it more difficult to get certain medications under new rules Medicare has recently put in place. Meanwhile, another set of rules could make it easier for seniors to get Medicare to pay for home health care services. Medicare h...

 

Reviewing the legislature's accomplishments

To sum up the 2014 session: It was a good news, bad news session for Alaskans. I had the honor of serving as the Democratic leader in the state Senate, so what follows is a report from our caucus on some issues of importance to Alaska’s fast...

 

Proposed Medicare Part D changes incite cheers, jeers

When do you fix a government program that’s not broken? That’s the question many in Washington are asking, after Medicare recently proposed a series of changes to its Part D prescription drug program – a program that, by most everyone’s...

 

Alaska Commission on Aging lays out legislative priorities

The legislature’s clock is ticking. The last day of the 2014 Alaska legislative session falls on Easter Sunday, April 20. Top issues being discussed among legislators include increasing Alaska’s oil and gas production, meeting in-state energy...

 

Alaska must extend the Senior Benefits program

Many Alaskan Seniors are on a fixed income, which has less and less buying power over time. I watched how difficult it was for my grandmother to cope with balancing her basic needs over her last few years. I can only imagine the trouble posed for...

 

Now is not the time to cut essential services, programs

This year, I have assumed the duties of the Democratic leader in the Senate. Senator Johnny Ellis passed the torch to me, and taking over from such a people’s champion is humbling. I want to take a moment to bring you up to date on what’s happeni...

 

Alaskans should not have to pay higher air fees

Editor’s note: This press statement was received on Jan. 27, 2014. Alaska and Hawaii’s Congressional delegations today introduced legislation that would exempt residents of the two states – and communities that rely on essential air service as...

 

Older Alaskans deserve an expanded Medicaid

Governor Sean Parnell’s refusal to expand Medicaid that would cover 41,000 Alaskans is a bitter pill for older Alaskans. Of the 41,000 people who would have gained health coverage under this opportunity, over 11,000, or nearly 30 percent, are...

 

Legislative teleconferences track senior bills

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 FY2013 legislative session? We also provided committee testimony...

 

Standing up for Alaska's seniors and retirees

With Alaska having the fastest growing senior population in the country, we must lay the foundation for an Alaskan retirement to be as attractive as an Alaskan career. As our population ages we will face new challenges in providing services and adapt...

 

The looming 20 percent Social Security cut that nobody's talking about

Imagine checking your bank balance and discovering your Social Security payment is 20 percent less than it should be. You contact the Social Security Administration only to be told that the Trust Fund is “insolvent,” and by law, benefits...

 

Love it or leave it health care

While the Obama administration battles with the Republican House of Representatives this summer in the public relations fight over getting people to sign up for the new health care insurance coverage, key decisions affecting millions of poor folks ar...

 

America must honor its Hmong "stealth heroes"

Editor’s note: This press statement was received on June 12, 2013. Senator Lisa Murkowski advocated today on behalf of the 6,900 living Hmong-American veterans who served in Vietnam under covert operations, testifying before the Senate Veterans...

 

Join in referendum to restore Alaska's oil profits

ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP all did very well this legislative session. The rest of us? Not so great. We lost $4.5 billion to three of the richest corporations in the world, money that could have been used to educate our children, provide...

 

Budget battles' increasing impact on seniors

President Barack Obama took a political gamble at the beginning of April by proposing to curb the growth of Medicare and Social Security. In upsetting his liberal political base, Obama hopes his concessions will draw rank and file Senate Republicans...

 

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