In 2000, the Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition collected information on health care access in the community and engaged the community in developing options to improve access.
The coalition is an organization comprising Anchorage leaders in health care, business, academia and government that seeks to improve access to health care for those in Anchorage who are uninsured or medically underserved.
A report entitled On the Edge: Living Without Health Insurance in the City of Lights highlighted the following findings:
- The uninsured and leaders alike were leery of government control of health care.
- Instead of government involvement, many uninsured participants and community leaders urged:
- Greater support for businesses to offer reasonable health benefit packages.
- The government to support a way for those without work-covered health benefits to tap into health benefit packages available to state and local employees.
- Both groups also described a stigma attached to being uninsured, stemming from a belief that the responsibility for health care belongs to the individual.
- Community leaders want to continue a dialogue to determine strategies, in both the public and private sectors, that would enhance access to health care.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $5,000 to APCA, Inc. (the Alaska Primary Care Association), one of the coalition members.