Target: Alaska Health Commissioner, William Streur
Goal: Stop making it more difficult for Medicaid patients to receive abortions
Alaska Health Commissioner William Streur has proposed a new certificate form that doctors would be required to fill out when requesting reimbursement for an abortion received by a Medicaid patient. The form would significantly reduce the number of ways in which an abortion can be considered “medically necessary” in Alaska. This could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to access abortions and for healthcare providers to receive funding for such procedures.
Under Streur’s form, patients with Medicaid whose lives are in danger as a result of their pregnancy or who are victims of rape or incest could have the costs of their abortion procedure reimbursed by the federal government. However, the checklist of acceptable conditions for reimbursement would reduce access to abortions by no longer allowing medical professionals to just say that an abortion is necessary for the patient’s health. Instead, the form creates a list of specific criteria under which a doctor can claim the abortion was done for reasons regarding the patient’s health. The form has significant gaps, such as the omission of mental health as a reason to fund an abortion.
The checklist of allowable health conditions essentially redefines the concept “medically necessary abortion” for Medicaid patients. Doctors have said that the new form will make it more difficult for women on Medicaid to access abortion services. They also have expressed that doctors who provide abortions could be dissuaded from doing so, as the form makes it harder for them to receive payments from the government.
Streur’s form is an effort to restrict access to healthcare for the women of Alaska. The proposal is unnecessary and harmful toward women and medical professionals. It creates restrictive standards for when abortions are medically necessary and will overall have a negative impact on women’s health. Sign the petition below to tell Streur to bring an end to the plans for the new form.
Dear William Streur,
The proposed new form that doctors would be required to fill out when requesting reimbursement for an abortion received by a Medicaid patient is harmful and unnecessary. The form significantly limits access to abortion services for women who have Medicaid by listing a specific set of criteria used to determine whether an abortion can be deemed “medically necessary.” By redefining what is medically necessary, you are limiting access to healthcare for women in your state.
The form will further complicate women’s access to abortion by potentially causing some medical professionals who provide abortion services to no longer offer these services out of fear that they won’t receive proper funds from the government to cover the procedures. I urge you to put an end to this proposed form and start prioritizing women’s health and access to healthcare.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mercy Health via Flickr