AARP asked the candidates for Alaska governor how they would introduce budget and tax reforms, create livable communities for seniors, improve access to home- and community-based services, and lower costs of health care.
QUESTION 1: Alaska faces a budget deficit of $2.7 billion for the next fiscal year, a shortfall of more than 50 percent. A state income tax and use of the Permanent Fund are the two main revenue options under consideration to close the gap. Where do you stand on these two options, and what is your plan for balancing the budget?
QUESTION 2: A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has housing that is affordable (no more than 30% of income is spent on housing), transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services for people of all ages and allows people to remain in their communities as they age. What steps will you take to ensure all Alaskans have access to livable communities?
QUESTION 3: The majority of Alaska residents want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. One way to ensure that they don’t have to move from their homes is to redirect spending away from more costly nursing home care and into home and community based services (HCBS). How will you help expand Alaska’s seniors’ access to quality services provided at home and in the community?
QUESTION 4: What will you do to ensure health care coverage is adequate and affordable for Alaska residents? [also could add at the end: “so that costs, such as premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pockets expenses, are not burdensome on consumers or limit access to coverage or necessary services”]