SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Anchorage Law Firm Offers Pro Bono Representation for Medicaid Expansion


August 27 2015
Thursday PM

(SitNews) - Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced he will accept an offer for pro-bono legal representation in a suit to challenge his expansion of Medicaid in Alaska. Last week Republican legislative leadership authorized the spending of up to $450,000 to sue the Walker administration in the latest attempt to prevent thousands of Alaskans from receiving access to health care coverage.

Alaska Governor Walker announced he has accepted the offer of pro bono representation from the Anchorage law firm Dillon & Findley to defend the Governor’s actions to expand Medicaid in Alaska.

Dillon & Findley is a boutique law firm that specializes in complex litigation, including medical legal work and tax litigation. Ray Brown, who has worked as an attorney with the firm for the past 23 years, reached out to the Governor’s office last week with the offer.

“When we heard that the Governor was being sued for Medicaid expansion and the Legislative Council had retained an outside Washington D.C. firm at a cost of half a million dollars, all in an effort to deprive poor people of healthcare –Dillon & Findley volunteered to assist,” said Brown. “We believe it is our civic duty to support the Governor in his decision to expand Medicaid, especially with the fiscal climate our state is currently faced with.”

“At a time when the state is facing a $3.5 billion deficit, 10 legislators chose to spend $450,000 to hire an outside law firm to block what more than 60 percent of Alaskans want; they chose to sue to prevent $145 million in federal dollars from being injected into our economy to provide lifesaving care for our fellow Alaskans. Instead of spending money on litigation, we should be working together to pass Medicaid reform legislation, ” said Governor Walker. “In partnership with the excellent legal team at the Department of Law, the experienced attorneys at Dillon & Findley have graciously volunteered to help us stand up and fight for the right to provide health care for low-income, working Alaskans.”

The lawyers at Dillon & Findley are working side by side with lawyers at the Department of Law to respond to the lawsuit. With the quick turn-around time expected for the pending motion to halt implementation of Medicaid expansion on September 1st, all of the attorneys are working around the clock to vet and respond to the 123 pages of court filings received late Monday from opposing counsel.

Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) said in a prepared statement, “Once again Governor Walker has found a way to take the high ground in the continuing battle over Medicaid expansion. Republican leadership in the House and Senate have continued to delay and block Medicaid expansion in Alaska, not for practical or economic reasons, but for what are clearly partisan and personal differences. The governor gave the legislature every opportunity to do the right thing, and his administration has provided us with all the information we need. We should all be grateful to Dillon & Findley for this generous offer, and I congratulate the governor for accepting it and saving the state a significant amount of money in these challenging economic times. I urge Republican leaders to rethink their decision, drop the suit and join us in doing the right thing for Alaska and Alaskans.”




Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Governor Bill Walker

Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage)


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