As lawmakers look to trim the state’s budget shortfall, their attention is focusing on one of the biggest areas of the budget: Medicaid.Download AudioSen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, announced today that a new Medicaid reform subcommittee will focus on the issue over the next month.The subcommittee will look at separate bill proposed by Gov. Bill Walker’s administration and Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, to change how healthcare is delivered to low-income Alaskans.Both bills encourage the use of case management.In the state’s version, a contractor assigns a primary care provider to each patient.The provider would help coordinate the healthcare that the patient receives, with an eye toward preventing problems that cause unnecessary hospital stays and emergency room visits.State Health Commissioner Valerie Davidson says patients benefit from closer attention.“What we found is they love it, because, you know, maybe for the first time in their life, somebody is contacting them and saying, ‘Hey, it looks like you’re having some health issues, and based upon what you have been seen for, you might benefit from seeing a primary care provider, who can work with a … cardiologist or some other specialist. And based upon what we know about the services that you’ve received, we can set up an appointment for you.’”Both bills also seek to reduce pharmacy spending by pointing patients toward generic prescription drugs rather than name brands.Sen. Kelly is also interested in exploring privatizing some state healthcare services, saying he looks forward to quick and bold action:“We haven’t done it well enough over many, many years. So there’s no finger being pointed at the Health and Social Services Committee or this commissioner. This has been an, a cumulative problem that I think we are just so forced into dealing with it now because of the other budget considerations that face us, that, um, we’re actually going to do it this time.”The new subcommittee will meet three times a week.Republican Sens. Kelly and Mackinnon, along with Peter Micchiche and Cathy Giessel, will serve on the subcommittee, as well as with Democrat Donny Olson.Sen. MacKinnon says she’s interested in looking to take pieces of both the administration’s bill and Kelly’s bill in making a recommendation to the full Senate Finance Committee by the end of February.
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Dream Cruises sets new world record in anticipationDream Cruises sets new world record in anticipationWorld Dream, the newest mega ship of Asia’s luxury cruise line Dream Cruises, will soon make history as the first-ever cruise ship to be christened in Hong Kong on Friday, 17 November 2017.In celebration of this monumental occasion, Dream Cruises launched an innovative “#TogetherWeBuildDreams” campaign, which engaged cruise enthusiasts from around the world to build a large-scale replica of World Dream, in attempt to break the current world record of the largest LEGO® ship. After two months of relentless effort, the giant ship model, collectively built by over 1,000 cruising guests, members of the public, as well as Mr. Andy Hung and Legend Creative, the first LEGO®Certified Professional in Greater China region and his team, was officially unveiled at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal today. The attempt was declared successful upon onsite adjudication and the official Guinness World Records certificate presentation.Prior to verification by the official Guinness World Records adjudicator, honourable guests completed the model by placing the final LEGO® blocks onto the ship, symbolizing the collaboration between Dream Cruises and the citizens of Hong Kong to set the new world record.The unveiling of the World Dream ship model also served as the kick-off for the festivities surrounding World Dream’s inaugural and christening in Hong Kong.Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines said, “It is with great excitement with which we anticipate the inaugural launch of World Dream and make history as the first-ever cruise ship to be christened in Hong Kong. Today we celebrate the first milestone achieved by World Dream – the successful breaking of a Guinness World Record, an honour that we share with cruise enthusiasts from around the world who joined us as we turned this dream into reality.”Mr. Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) said, “The fact that Genting Cruise Lines selected Hong Kong again as the home port for its international cruise and is organising a large-scale christening ceremony in the city is indeed a testament to the international cruise trade’s great confidence in Hong Kong and the regional cruise market, as well as recognition of Hong Kong as an appealing cruise travel destination. The HKTB will continue to work closely with Genting Hong Kong and our other cruise partners through joint promotions and regional alliances to drive more arrivals and enhance local cruise and tourism development.”The excitement began with Dream Cruises’ innovative “#TogetherWeBuildDreams” campaign, which engaged consumers in the building of the world’s largest LEGO® cruise ship, an 8.44-meter replica of World Dream. Constructed from over 2.5 million LEGO® blocks, the ship model weighs over 2,800kg, measures 8.44m in length, 1.33m in width, and 1.53m in height. The LEGO® ship model will be on public display at Hall B, 2/F of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal from 19 Nov onwards; an open-day event will be held on the first day of public display, where members of the public can have a close-up view of the giant ship model and enjoy activities including LEGO® building workshops and speed challenges against LEGO® Certified Professional.World Dream is the second vessel of Dream Cruises, purpose-built to cater to the Asian market. World Dream will start sailing from Hong Kong on 17 November and from Guangzhou, Nansha on 19 November, taking guests on two weekly alternating 6-day/5-night itineraries to exotic and popular destinations including Boracay and Manila in the Philippines and Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang in Vietnam, as well as 3-day/2-night Warm Weekend Vacation cruises from Hong Kong in the South China Sea.For more information about Dream Cruises, please visit dreamcruiseline.com and follow us on Facebook, Weibo and Weixin.Source = Dream Cruises