State would make Medicaid expansion contingent on minimum 90 percent federal contribution

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JUNEAU, Alaska — State health commissioner Valerie Davidson says Alaska's participation in Medicaid expansion would be made contingent upon the federal government paying at least 90 percent of the cost.

She said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have negotiated that provision with other states.

The federal government is expected to cover the full cost of expansion in states opting for it through 2016. The federal contribution would decline after that, reaching 90 percent by 2020, where it's supposed to stay.

But some have questioned whether the government will honor that commitment. The issue is expected to be part of budget talks in the legislature, as Gov. Bill Walker has made expanding Medicaid a priority.

Davidson told a House committee the administration plans to release an updated report on expansion soon.

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