Letter to the Editor: Health care for students

Dear Editor,

Senators Bettye Davis and Johnny Ellis have Senate Bill 81 ready to put into law, giving full-time college students ages 23 – 26 to enroll in their parents’ health insurance program.   It’s a good bill that should have passed last year except for Governor Parnell’s (and his party’s) opposition.

In 2009 when the new federal health care bill passed, at last parents were allowed to continue carrying their full-time college age students up through age 26, on their insurance policies.

Governor Parnell through an executive order deleted the option for retirees of the State of Alaska to have this benefit, denying a small portion of Alaskan students their equal access to health care.  It also discriminates against Alaskan government employees by age, for retirees are the only government employees denied this right.

It’s too bad that Governor Parnell doesn’t have a student of this age as a full-time college student without health insurance, needing it, so that he would know how it feels.  Actually, as a full-time employee of the State of AK, his children CAN be covered.  He deleted only RETIREES children from this benefit.

Alaskans who want to help Senators Davis and Ellis pass this bill can:

Call LIO at 907-269-0111 to send a free public opinion message to all Alaska Legislators and committees voicing their support;   Call Senator Davis’ aide Tom at 907-465-3822; or call their own Alaska Legislators to ask their help (phone numbers available from LIO or online at Alaska.gov  )

- Advertisement -

Contact others who may have full-time college students in the near future in this 23-26 year old group who will be excluded if they (the state employee) is retired and ask them to voice their family’s need for equal access to government insurance for health care.

Why did Governor Parnell  eliminate this small group of college students  from health care?

Linda Sharp, M.Ed.  Anchorage