Sen. Murkowski on the AHCA: “This is a flawed replacement.”
The town hall began shortly after the House announced that it would not be voting on the AHCA tonight. Sen. Murkowski reiterated her concerns about the bill in its current form and reform in general.
“First off, I remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Sen. Murkowski began. With rising premiums, only one provider on the individual market, and an opioid crisis, Alaska hasn’t thrived under the ACA, even with expanded access to coverage for many Alaskans.
However, Sen. Murkowski isn’t on board with the AHCA.
“I cannot and will not support a reckless repeal process,” Sen. Murkowski said. “Alaska and Alaskans have way too much at stake and we cannot afford to get this wrong…This is a flawed replacement.”
Sen. Murkowski stated her support for keeping coverage levels where they are, allowing adult children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, allowing people with pre-existing conditions to access coverage, and preventing life-time or annual limits.
Sen. Murkowski also made her stance on Planned Parenthood clear, “I do not believe that Planned Parenthood should even be a part of this debate…I believe [Planned Parenthood] is an important provider of health services for women in our communities.”
“We’ve got a failing law and a broken system. We now have a possible placement…but again, in my view it doesn’t solve Alaska’s problems,” Sen. Murkowski concluded.
Sen. Murkowski remains committed to her state and the unique issues Alaska faces when it comes to healthcare, but her stance against the party line could hurt her in the next election, if she chooses to run again.
She was one of only two Republican senators to vote against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Her 2010 Senate win was as a write-in after losing the Republican Party nomination to Joe Miller, a Tea Party candidate. She has yet to win a Senate election with more than 50 percent of the vote.
President Trump told GOP representatives “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this [the AHCA] done” during a meeting on Tuesday.