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Portrait of Senate Finance Co-Chair, 
		Senator Sean Parnell Portrait of Senate Finance Member, 
		Senator Pete Kelly

Senator Sean Parnell
State Capitol, Room 518
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592
Send E-Mail

Senator Pete Kelly
State Capitol, Room 510
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2327
Fax: (907) 465-5241
Send E-Mail

Republican-led Legislature Funds Catastrophic Illness Assistance Program

For Immediate Release: March 8, 1999
Contact: Senator Sean Parnell at (907) 465-2995 or
Senator Pete Kelly at (907) 465-2327

Juneau -- Both the House and Senate Finance committees have proposed fully funding the Catastrophic and Acute Medical Assistance (CAMA) program for the 1999 fiscal year, ensuring that Alaska's neediest citizens receive medical assistance in the case of catastrophic, chronic and acute illness.

"Alaskans share a tradition of helping those in need, especially those unable to help themselves," said Senator Pete Kelly, chair of the Senate budget subcommittee for the Department of Health and Social Services. "We are extending this tradition by providing funds necessary for the CAMA program."

The Legislature created the program last year to reimburse health care providers who treat impoverished Alaskans for catastrophic and chronic illnesses. While the Legislature appropriated funds for the program in last year's legislative session, expenses in fiscal year 1999 exceeded the appropriation.

The budget items proposed by the House Finance Committee Saturday and the Senate Finance committee today include $1,145,000 in additional funds for the CAMA program. Upon passage of these items, total CAMA funding for the year will exceed $3 million, representing full funding of the amount requested by the Department of Health and Social Services, said Senator Sean Parnell, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

"By providing this funding, the Senate will ensure that health care providers who are treating impoverished Alaskans for serious medical needs - including providing prescription medications - will receive full reimbursement for services they have provided and the credit they have extended," said Senator Parnell.

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