Alaska Governor 's Decision to Improve Access to Health Care Will Save Lives and Money

Statement of Christopher W. Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

July 16, 2015

Washington, D.C. July 16, 2015 Governor Bill Walker 's announcement today that he will increase access to health coverage for thousands more hard-working, low-income Alaska residents will save lives and long-term health care dollars in the state. Access to affordable, quality health insurance is critical to beating cancer. Uninsured individuals are more likely than those with health insurance to be diagnosed with late-stage cancers, which are more difficult and costly to treat, and are more likely to die from the disease. By accepting the federal funds already set aside for Alaska to increase access to health coverage through their Medicaid program nearly 42,000 more Alaskans will now be able to see a doctor regularly, access recommended cancer screening tests and receive treatment if needed.

Once implemented, Alaska will be the 30th state, in addition to Washington, D.C., to accept the federal funds offered through the Affordable Care Act to increase access to health coverage through a state 's Medicaid program. ACS CAN will continue to work with lawmakers in the remaining states to ensure more individuals have access to the care they need.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit


Emily Rohloff or Steve Weiss

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network


[email protected]


[email protected]