HJR 52: Urging the Congress to amend the Social Security Act so that the higher cost of living in Alaska is reflected when the per capita income of the state is used as a factor in determining the federal share of Medicaid costs.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 52 01 Urging the Congress to amend the Social Security Act so that the higher cost 02 of living in Alaska is reflected when the per capita income of the state is used 03 as a factor in determining the federal share of Medicaid costs. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS the federal matching rate for the Medicaid program in each state varies 06 from 50 percent to 79 percent, based on the relative per capita income of each state; and 07 WHEREAS the American Chamber of Commerce cost of living index for 1992 shows 08 that the cost of living in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kodiak ranges from 130 percent 09 to 146 percent of the national average and that the health care costs in those communities 10 ranges from 171 percent to 190 percent of the national average; and 11 WHEREAS the use of a simple per capita income figure in the Medicaid program is 12 unfair to the State of Alaska because it ignores the higher cost of living in Alaska, particularly 13 the higher cost of health care services; and 14 WHEREAS this unfair federal funding formula affects not only the state's receipt of
01 federal matching funds for Medicaid but also for the program of aid to families with 02 dependent children, foster care assistance, and the JOBS program (Job Opportunity and Basic 03 Skills); and 04 WHEREAS the federal government has already recognized the higher cost of living 05 in Alaska by adjusting by 25 percent the Medicare nursing facility rates and the federal 06 poverty level figures for the state; and 07 WHEREAS the use of a 25 percent cost-of-living adjustment in the federal formula 08 would reduce the state's general fund Medicaid match from 50 percent to 38 percent, resulting 09 in a savings of $31,000,000 that could be applied to other state purposes without any 10 reductions in Medicaid services; 11 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully urges the Congress 12 to amend the Social Security Act so that the higher cost of living in Alaska is reflected when 13 per capita income is used in determining the federal share of Medicaid costs in the state; and 14 be it 15 FURTHER RESOLVED that the legislature commends the work already done on this 16 issue by Senator Ted Stevens and urges the entire Alaska delegation to join him in his efforts. 17 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 18 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States and President of 19 the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Robert C. Byrd, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate; 20 the Honorable Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable 21 Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens 22 and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 23 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.