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Seaton Files Bills For New Legislative Session

Photo Courtesy of the Alaska State Legislature

South Kenai Peninsula Representative Paul Seaton has prefiled two bills concerning healthcare issues. House Bill 227, if passed, will build on last year’s Medicaid Expansion bill. Seaton says it includes Medicaid reforms that could save the state millions, but the reforms required separate legislative action.

“So $309 million would basically be the cost savings over the next five years by implementing this bill,” said Seaton.

Seaton adds, after five years the reforms will save the state about $100 million per year.

He says the bill gives the state authority to offer Medicaid recipients new Medicaid waivers.

“Waiver systems that require legislative approval to get the waivers, but they let us provide services in a much more efficient and less costly manner,” said Seaton.

The state would also have the power to launch new pilot projects that would promote preventative healthcare and change the way Medicaid reimburses health care providers.

The second bill Seaton prefiled would reduce barriers for doctors who want to bring their practice to Alaska. He says right now it’s difficult for doctors who move to the state to get licensed to practice. House Bill 237 could speed up the process.

“They just don’t have to go through this long complicated process with duplicate fingerprints and duplicate background checks and all that. When one state has done that the other state will accept it,” said Seaton.

Seaton says he’s hopeful both bills will move through the legislature quickly. The new legislative session begins today.

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