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Alaska Chamber statement on Association Health Plans Court Ruling
was written by , 1970-01-01 00:00:00
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Anchorage, Alaska — A recent federal court decision forces the Alaska Chamber to pause its efforts to offer comprehensive health coverage at a reasonable cost to their members.
The March 28 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a portion of the Department of Labor's (DOL) final rule expanding the range of association health plans (AHP). In the 43-page ruling, Senior District Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that two provisions of the DOL’s final rule governing AHPs were unlawful. The agency created the final rule in response to an executive order issued in October 2017 by President Trump.
The executive order led to the creation of approximately 35 new AHPs. Many were sponsored by chambers of commerce and other business groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is collecting information on state and local chamber AHPs to demonstrate the significant ramifications of last week’s decision, particularly for individuals and businesses that currently have affordable health-care coverage through an AHP that has now been called into question. That information may be relevant to whether Judge Bates’ ruling should be stayed pending any appeal by the DOL.
“Even though this national court ruling pauses our efforts, we are still looking at every option to bring an Association Health Plan to life in Alaska to help small business owners and employees,” said Albert Fogle, Vice President of the Alaska Chamber.
In consultation with attorneys, the Alaska Division of Insurance Director Lori Wing-Heier, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, our general agent and local brokers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Chamber is seeking a path forward.
About the Alaska Chamber
The Alaska Chamber is a non-profit founded in 1953 working to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. The Chamber is the voice of small and large business representing more than 800 businesses, manufacturers, and local chambers from across Alaska. Our member companies employ over 100,000 hard-working Alaskans. The Chamber supports and encourages a positive investment climate that provides certainty and stability for Alaska. View a list of our current priorities and positions at alaskachamber.com/priorities-and-positions.
Read Original Alaska Chamber statement on Association Health Plans Court Ruling Article Here
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One of highly recommended must see attractions for people exploring Alaska is
Chugach National Forest. Only one third as large as Tongass National Forest, in Southeast Alaska, Chugach is nevertheless the second-largest national forest in the country and an impressive combination of forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and glaciers. About the size of New Hampshire, Chugach features a geographic variety that is truly unique amongst national forests. The 5,940,000-acre forest is dispersed across three different landscapes, extending from the Kenai Peninsula east across Prince William Sound to include the Gulf Coast bordering the Copper River Delta, then east from there as far as the Bering Glacier. Wildlife is without a doubt abundant particularly for people who try to hike from the roadways and highways. Black and brown bear live in most of the forest, foraging upon open tundra slopes and in intertidal zones. At the end of summer months, bears may perhaps be observed feeding upon spawned-out salmon along streams and rivers. Record-size moose dwell in the Kenai Peninsula and the Copper River Delta. Dall sheep sometimes appear on Kenai Peninsula mountainsides, mountain goats are found upon steep hillsides along Prince William Sound, the Copper River Delta and occasionally above Portage Valley. Boaters and kayakers on Prince William Sound may see Dall porpoises, harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, Orcas and humpback whales. In excess of 214 species of resident and migratory birds inhabit Chugach National Forest. Seabirds, which include blacklegged kittiwakes, nest in sea cliff colonies by the thousands. Ptarmigan scurry over alpine tundra, bald eagles perch on coastline snags and Steller’s jays forage in the underbrush. The Copper River Delta protects one of the largest concentrations of nesting trumpeter swans in North America as well as the total population of dusky Canada geese. Nesting waterfowl are joined in springtime and autumn by countless numbers of migrating shorebirds. Chugach provides a variety of fishing options; anglers may cast for rainbow, lake and cutthroat trout along with Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling and all 5 species of Pacific salmon. Many of the fisheries are easy to get to; roadside lakes and rivers abound offering anglers a chance to fish without needing a boat. Chugach’s most famous fishery is the red salmon run of the Russian River where fishermen are often standing elbow-to-elbow alongside the river bank during July and July. Chugach is one of the handful of spots remaining in the world where glaciers spill out of the mountains and into the seas. When combined with the Bagley Icefield from where it originates, Bering Glacier is larger than Switzerland. Columbia Glacier is one of the largest tidewater glaciers in the world while Portage Glacier and it’s Begich-Boggs Visitor Center is one of the most widely used stops for tourists within Alaska.
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