U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and former vice chair and current member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), participated in a robust roundtable discussion focusing on health care issues facing Alaskans and Alaska Natives. The roundtable took place on Friday, August 12th at the Gorsuch Building at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, AK.
The roundtable featured experts from across the state that provided their input and experience on the issues. The participants included:
· Lori Wing-Heier, director of the Alaska Division of Insurance;
· Valerie Davidson, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services;
· Leonard Sorrin, vice president at Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield;
· Dr. Lisa Parady, executive director of the Alaska Superintendents Association;
· Dr. Deena Paramo, superintendent of the Anchorage School District;
· Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association;
· Roald Helgesen, CEO of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and hospital administrator;
· Dr. Robert Onders, medical director for the Community Health System Improvement;
· Katherine Gottlieb, president and CEO of the SouthCentral Foundation;
· April Kyle, vice president of behavioral health for the SouthCentral Foundation;
· Jennifer Meyhoff, chair of Legislative Affairs Committee for the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters; and
· Jeff Ranf, former president and current board member for the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters.
The discussion focused on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, rural and telehealth, the Indian Health Service, and specific issues facing Alaska Natives.