Events are Hosted and Funded by the Koch Brothers, an Outside Interest Group Not in Line with Alaska’s Values
ANCHORAGE — Today, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) expressed outrage over Governor Michael J. Dunleavy’s distraction of a budget roadshow because the events are hosted by Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity is organized and funded by the Koch Brothers, people who have no real connection to Alaska, other than to promote their conservative values.
The Koch Brothers have a history of supporting efforts to roll back access to a full range of reproductive health care, repealing the Affordable Care Act, stopping Medicaid Expansion, and fighting against the health and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. The Koch Brothers don’t share Alaska’s values, and for a state with the highest cost of health care in addition to barriers to care like provider shortages, there is a need for more health care access, not less.
"This is truly un-Alaskan,” said Jessica Cler, Alaska State Director at PPVNH. “The Koch Brothers don’t share anything in common with Alaska and we don’t need them to tell us how and where to spend our money. The governor’s proposed cuts make it so no one in this state will be spared. Right now, the state legislature has an opportunity to resist this proposal and outside interest groups and put the residents of Alaska above political games. Planned Parenthood will continue to fight against this budget and the harmful and dangerous attacks on our health care safety net.”
Gov. Dunleavy’s budget proposal makes unprecedented cuts to nearly every program from education to health and social services. The proposed budget includes dramatic cuts to Medicaid, and leaves the door open for rolling back Medicaid expansion in the future, which the Koch Brothers fully support.
Specifically, there is a proposed 40 percent cut to Medicaid funding, a program that provides care for more than 200,000 low–income Alaskans. The impact wouldn’t end there — if state Medicaid funding is slashed by the proposed $270 million, the federal government will withhold an additional nearly $500 million for health care for low-income Alaskans. Low-income Alaskans rely on Medicaid for life-saving care like cancer screenings, preventive health care, emergency care, and family planning services.