Alaska Alaska Governor Bill Walker is set to announce on Thursday plans to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor, which would bring coverage to more than 40,000 uninsured residents.
Walker, an independent, has already had several expansion efforts blocked by the Republican-led state legislature since he took office after winning the November 2014 election.
“It’s not the time to dump tens of thousands of people into that system,” said Republican state Senator Pete Kelly. “We’ve got a system that’s broken.”
Walker tried in January to include funding in the current fiscal year’s budget for an expansion. Lawmakers removed the funding, saying it required a separate bill.
Walker then introduced a bill in mid-March to expand coverage, but legislators said the current system needed an overhaul, and the proposal stalled after preliminary hearings.