Bill Walker

In Alaska, anxiety grows as debate over health care rages

Going without health insurance is a risk. Going without it in Alaska can be a gamble of a much higher order, for this is a place unlike anywhere else in the U.S., a land of pitiless cold, vast expanses and dangerous, back-breaking work such as pulling fishing nets from the water or hauling animal carcasses out of the woods.

And yet many people on the Last Frontier do not carry insurance. For them, the Affordable Care Act just isn't working.

For reasons that have a lot to do with its sheer size, sparse population and harsh environment, Alaska has some of the highest health care costs in the nation; the most expensive insurance premiums, according to one key measure; and...

54°