Senator Murkowski Attends Homer's "First Annual Senator Lisa Murkowski is Coming to Town" Luncheon
The topic moved to the National Healthcare law being decided in the Supreme Court. "We won't learn until June if the Court decides that this Individual Mandate is unconstitutional, and if it is thrown out that doesn't mean that we in the congress are done. That means that we really need to kick it into high gear , that means we really need to be advancing those measures that will work to reduce our healthcare costs," Senator Murkowski continued, " I think some of the things we need to do right away is to make sure that the popular things that everybody agreed on in that bill are re-instated. If you have got a pre-existing condition, you should not be shut out by insurance companies. If you have a child under 26 years old they ought to be able to continue on your policy. But, there is so much more that we have to do, I think we need to have meaningful torte reform as part of healthcare reform."
Conserning healthcare in the state of Alaska, Murkowski said, "I think particularly in a state like Alaska where our population is limited, I think you need to be able to enter into pooling agreements to reduce the costs I think you need to be able to purchase across state lines."
Senator Murkowski pointed out to the audience that she had introduced legislation to insure that the type of Judicial misconduct that took place in Ted Stevens trial did not take place again. She said of DOJ, "The Department of Justice should have been there for justice and unfortunately, they were not." She noted the consequences of his trial, "Because of this ill gotten verdict not only did Ted Stevens lose the election, it tipped the balance of power in the United States Senate, and this is not an inconsequential thing."
In response to a question on the Arctic Council, Lisa commented briefly on the subject, saying, "I have served on the Arctic Parliamentarian Council since I came to the senate and it is a role that I really like because it allows for a level of engagement with the other arctic nations." She added, We need to make sure that the area is one not of conflict for resource but but an area of cooperation."
"We have to get the committment to having those assets that will allow us to assume the role as an Arctic Leader. Right now we are down and out when it comes to our Ice Breaking capacity. The Polar Seas is going to be decommissioned, and the polar Star will not be back out in the water until 2014." Continuing, she stated, "The Healy has done a phenomenal job, we saw her efforts this winter bringing the 'Renda' into Nome. But the reality is that we don't have a Polar Class Icebreaker.We've got money in the budget, $8 million, but what does $8 million buy? I told the legislature, 'That doesn't even buy you a porthole."