Sometimes, it makes sense to pause and take in all of the stress around us. School is starting back up. Over a billion dollars is getting spent to tell Americans why we should vote against this person or that issue. The pandemic continues with no end in sight. The economy is hollowing out in meaningful but unreported ways (like this spike in mortgage delinquencies nationwide). And, it’s getting darker every day faster than one would like.
I’m not telling you all of this to depress you. I’m saying this for two reasons. One, we need to name the stress in our life to try to better manage them. Things are hard right now, and it’s ok to struggle with this stuff.
Second, this is in significant part why we created State of Reform a decade ago. The solutions to our problems lie in more conversations, not fewer; in more engagement with our community, not less. It’s appropriate to fight elections and call division for votes on policy. But, America is great because of our ability to come together around a set of ideas, more centrally ‘Out of many, one.’
So, hang in there. Don’t hesitate to ask for support. And, if I can help in a way that’s meaningful to you, send me a note. We’ll see what we can do.
With help from Emily Boerger
1. Primary races to watch
Two statewide offices, 11 Senate seats, and all 40 House seats are on the ballot for Alaska’s August 18th primary. We’ve put together a rundown of the races we’ll be watching, particularly among those featuring incumbents who have a hand in shaping Alaska’s health policy.
Four of the five members of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee are up for re-election – including in District N where Senate President Cathy Giessel is facing off against Republican challenger Roger Holland. In District D, Sen. David Wilson is facing a crowded primary with 5 other Republicans on the ballot. Over in the House, nearly all members of the Health and Social Services Committee are running unopposed in their primaries, except Rep. Sharon Jackson who was appointed by Gov. Dunleavy and was sworn into office in January of 2019.
2. Our Topical Agenda is now available!
We are excited to announce the release of our Topical Agenda for the 2020 Alaska State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference on September 30th! Our agenda is built with input from stakeholders across all silos in the Alaska health care system. We’ll be exploring politics and policy in health care, discussing the future of Medicaid, and diving deep into COVID’s impact on the economy, tele-health, and health equity.
You can view the Topical Agenda here for a sense of the conversations we have teed up, and if you have suggestions for speakers let us know! If you haven’t already registered, we’d be honored to have you join us!
3. SHIP open for public comment
DHSS and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium are seeking public comment on the…