As Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveils his budget, which includes deep cuts to a host of state programs, three lawmakers are cautioning him against rejecting federal funds used for Medicaid expansion in Alaska. A memo lays out how the governor is legally bound to accept these funds.
The memo, which is from the Division of Legal and Research Services, says that the governor is “legally obligated” to accept federal funds. Legislators would need to pass a bill to eliminate or restrict the program in Alaska.
House District 38 Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, a Bethel Democrat, is one of the legislators advocating for continuing to accept the funds. Zulkosky said in a statement that "the federal funding that Medicaid expansion brings to our state provides essential resources that help thousands of Alaskans remain in the workforce or get back into it.”
Besides being a legislator, Zulkosky also works as lead for communications at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, the largest healthcare provider in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.