Last year I had the honor of speaking to Senator Lisa Murkowski at the Soldotna Home Town Meeting. I also had the privilege of having Senator Mark Begich call my home to discuss what issues our family faces with concern to healthcare. So one year and one "Healthcare Reform" later and where are we? We are still middle class and uninsured. As a mother, I have worked diligently advocating and piecemealing coverage for my children. We utilized COBRA insurance that was offered after winter seasonal work came to an end. With the help of federal stimulus money we were able to afford this COBRA insurance. Senator Murkowski's staff helped me navigate insurance brokers. Due to a pre-existing childhood illness, ACHIA is our only option at this time. We are still priced out of having private healthcare and do not have any at this time.
In the last year I have learned much about healthcare in Alaska. In 2007 an estimated 114,000 Alaskans were uninsured, 18,000 of these uninsured are children. Yet our own governor as recently as this July vetoed a bill that was approved by the Alaskan State legislature that would have provided coverage for some of these 18,000 children. As one or the wealthiest states in the union are satisfies to have 18,000 children without healthcare? We as adults are failing 18,000 of our weakest, most vulnerable, most valuable members of our society! As our state heads into a new direction with new government officials we need to keep this debate alive! To our political figures who speak of family values I would like to remind you of the value of a healthy family!
Jacquelynn Tomrdle, Kenai
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